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Runaway Beverage Carts and Safety in the Air

| Oct 23, 2017 | Aviation Accidents |

Airline passengers and flight crews acknowledge that deciding to fly aboard a commercial flight comes with certain risks. One type of risk that neither group likely anticipates while flying is facing injuries from a runaway beverage cart. However, on multiple occasions in recent months, runaway beverage carts have inflicted injuries on both passengers and airline employees. At least two of these incidents involved American Airlines and American Eagle. The incidents serve as a reminder that one can incur injuries aboard an airplane from many different sources. Regardless of the source of your injury, it is important to work with skilled Chicago airplane accident attorneys who can help you understand and protect your rights.

The most recent incident to make the headlines involved American Airlines Flight 1941. Early in the flight, the beverage cart, which was fully stocked and allegedly not properly secured, took off careening down the aisle of the Hartford-to-Charlotte flight. The cart, according to a Reuters report, hit one passenger with such force that it knocked his hat off his head. The total damages the man suffered went far beyond just a removed hat, though. The impact allegedly caused a large gash in the man’s forehead, severe bleeding, and a loss of consciousness.

According to the man’s complaint, the infliction of this serious injury did not lead the flight crew to initiate an emergency landing. Instead, the crew flew on to Charlotte, which took another two hours (after the accident occurred). The passenger sued American in federal court, alleging that the airline’s negligence caused him to suffer “chronic traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome.”

Last fall, three passengers aboard a Canadian flight suffered injuries from an allegedly improperly latched beverage cart. The flight, bound from Toronto to Regina, encountered its problem upon landing. One of the injured passengers stated that the cart had flown down the aisle and slammed into her seat back, which slammed her into the video monitor within the seat back in front of her. The passenger told the Global News that a flight attendant told her that the latch failed, which allowed it to break free during the landing.

Runaway beverage carts often present an equally great, if not greater, risk of harm to cabin crews. Two American Eagle crew members suffered injuries last year due to a beverage cart incident, according to an NBC News report. The Dallas-to-Memphis flight encountered severe turbulence along its route. The turbulence was so bad that it sent a beverage cart airborne, and it came to land on top of a flight attendant. The cart injured that flight attendant and another member of the cabin crew.

While the cart in the Dallas-to-Memphis flight involved crew injuries and a cart in service, the other instances appear to have involved carts that allegedly should have been secured in place. When an airline fails to maintain proper safety, and you, as a passenger, suffer injuries, you may have a case in civil court for recovery of damages. If you are a crew member, your remedy may be in civil court, or it may be in the form of workers’ compensation. No matter your avenue of recourse, you need skilled counsel working on your side. The diligent Chicago plane accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca have been helping people injured in airline-related accidents for many years. Our team has extensive experience handling these types of cases and getting the compensation that our injured clients need. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

What do I do when I am injured at work?, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Aug. 15, 2017

Turbulence and Injuries to Airline Cabin Crews, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, July 6, 2017