Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Cramped Airline Seats Injure Passenger

Posted by Charles Gilman | Jun 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

Some businesses and industries that are held to a higher standard than others. One of these is the airline industry, which is supposed to have an absolute responsibility to make sure that people are not harmed while on the plane. Just because they have this heightened responsibility, however, does not mean that they will honor it, or that they will not fight to the last to make sure you do not get compensated for the injuries that they cause.

Unfortunately, a Canadian man is currently finding this out, the hard way.

Hiking Trip Nearly Turns Deadly on the Flight Back

Colin Savage is an active 64-year old man from Victoria, Canada. He runs marathons and claims to cycle nearly 250 miles every week. When he took a recent trip to Argentina, he spent much of the time hiking. However, this all changed soon after he returned home to Canada.

While on the 10-hour Air Canada flight from Chile back to Toronto, the plane experienced turbulence that made the airline require passengers to stay in their seats for most of the flight. For Mr. Savage, who stands at 6'2”, the flight was very uncomfortable.

The day after landing back home, Mr. Savage experienced intense back pain and rushed to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a blood clot that migrated from his legs to his lungs, where it has since caused considerable breathing problems. Mr. Savage went from being active to being left short of breath after only a minimal amount of activity.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

According to the World Health Organization, DVT is a considerable risk for people who have to sit in cramped conditions for more than four hours at a time, especially those who are obese or pregnant. The lack of circulation, particularly in the lower extremities, causes blood clots that carry the risk of slowly circulating through the rest of the body, causing dangerous medical conditions.

Despite this, when Mr. Savage notified Air Canada of the injuries he had suffered while on their flight, Air Canada dismissed it as a “pre-existing medical condition” that they were not responsible for. DVT, they claimed, was not linked to flying in any way.

Of course, Air Canada is correct. DVT is not linked to flying. It is, however, incontrovertibly linked to prolonged exposure to cramped conditions. And anyone who has flown in an airplane understands that flying is a classic example of a cramped condition. Seating in airplanes have shrunk considerably in the last 20 years, down to a miniscule 79cm between seating rows, with an average seat size of a mere 43cm. All of this, of course, has been in the interest of economics for the airlines, who aim to fit as many seats on possible to maximize their profits.

Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured and the person or company that caused your suffering is refusing to pay, contact the personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian at (800) 529-6162 or online.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.


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