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Airline passenger seriously injured but the flight goes on

What happens when an airline passenger is critically injured during takeoff by an unsecured, beverage cart that weighs 300 pounds?

You'd probably expect the plane to promptly return to the airport so that the passenger could receive the immediate medical care that he or she needed -- however, that's not what happened when a New York man was recently injured that way aboard an American Airline's flight.

Instead, the pilot continued the flight while some of his fellow passengers tended to the bleeding and semi-conscious victim for the whole of the two-hour flight.

The victim has been left with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), mood swings, chronic headaches and anxiety. No longer able to work or even bend over, the victim claims that his marriage has been affected due to his current medical condition. Consequently, he's now filed a lawsuit against the airline for their failure to secure the cart in the first place, which created a hazardous condition, and the reckless and negligent actions of the pilot who continued the flight in apparent indifference to the victim's medical needs.

Airlines are expected to exercise a relatively high level of care when it comes to their passengers -- and they are responsible for any negligence by their employees that ultimately leads to an accident.

However, the airline might not be the only entity responsible for your injuries -- it's possible that the manufacturer of the equipment that caused your injury could also be responsible if an equipment defect was behind the accident. A repairer or maintenance company might also be liable. In the American Airline's case, for example, if the beverage cart came loose because its safety mechanisms weren't effective, the manufacturer might be liable. If the safety mechanisms were just improperly maintained or repaired, the repair company might be liable.

Lawsuits involving airline negligence and the liability for injuries incurred on their premises can become very complicated -- which means that it's wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible about your rights.

Source: New York Post, "Runaway beverage cart on American Airlines flight gave me brain damage: lawsuit," Reuters, June 26, 2017

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