Pax Sues EY After Obese Seatmate Forced Him Into Contortions

Open Jaw

A man is suing EY, claiming he injured his back by being forced into contortions while sitting next to an obese man who coughed a lot.


James Andres Bassos filed suit in Queensland, Australia, saying he was forced to twist his body for long periods on a flight from SYD to DXB. Bassos’s claim states the “grossly overweight” passenger was spilling into his seat, coughing frequently and had fluid coming from his mouth.


After 5 hr he asked to be moved but airline staff allegedly refused. 1/2 hr later, Bassos complained again and he was moved to a crew seat. However, he had to return to his seat next to the man later for another hour, and again for the final 90 min. of the flight for security reasons.


Bassos is claiming damages for personal injuries, saying that being forced to twist his body for such a long time to avoid contact with the other passenger gave him a back injury and exacerbated an existing back condition.


EY tried to have the claim thrown out and argued it was not unusual to have overweight pax taking up too much space, or coughing passengers.


However Brisbane district court Judge Fleur Kingham refused to strike out the claim. Kingham said she wasn’t convinced Bassos had no chance of winning. She ordered him to undergo a medical examination in Brisbane in December.

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