American Airlines is facing a Lawsuit after Michael Anthony Taylor, 67, said he suffered permanent back and neck injuries from being seated with two obese passengers, a couple. This was on a 14-hour flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles.

Many of us know what it’s like to fly economy – crammed together like sardines in a can – but for Taylor it was reportedly far worse. According to Taylor, staff on the American Airlines flight refused to let him change seats on the flight, which left him with the choice of kneeling, crouching, standing, or bracing for most of the 14-hour journey.

Back injuries from being crammed in an American Airlines seat

Taylor, who is an actor living in Wollongong, described the discomfort he is experiencing after the flight. His existing scoliosis – a condition described as an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine – was aggravated by the way he was forced to travel on the flight. The result was upper and lower back injuries, along with bruising to his neck.

Taylor told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that he doesn’t hold any malice toward the two obese passengers he was seated with. He said they also paid for a ticket. However, he added that the American Airlines flight crew could have moved people around on the flight, or put him in a crew seat, but they refused to help him.

Stuck in an American Airlines window seat, unable to move

During the American Airlines flight, which was back in December 2016, Taylor was seated in the window seat and the other two passengers in his row were what the court documents describe as “grossly obese.” Reportedly, the male passenger seated directly next to Taylor “spilt over and encroached” into his own seat, which forced Taylor to contort his body into a variety of positions to try and get comfortable.

In a video below, Taylor says the man even put his head on his shoulder.

The West Australian reports that Taylor considered sitting on the toilet during the flight, but said that when he told the airline staff about his plan, they just laughed at him.

According to U.S.

federal regulations, passengers are not allowed to sit in jump seats and the American Airlines flight had all 310 passenger seats sold and occupied, meaning there was nowhere else for Taylor to sit. On the plus side, Taylor’s lawyer, Thomas Janson, says the case – which is seeking US$74,000 in compensation – might just lead to airlines making economy seats more comfortable.

However, the news of the lawsuit comes at a time when American Airlines announced this week that the airline will be reducing leg room even further in economy class on its Boeing 737 Max jetliners. This will mean that three rows will lose two inches of leg room, reducing the space from 31 to 29 inches, and the balance of the rows on the plane would lose one inch.

Janson went on to say that if his client is successful with his lawsuit, this could potentially open the door to a large number of lawsuits against airlines and the way they have designed their seating. He added that there will likely be a huge outcry against the way airlines seat their passengers, especially in economy class.

The statement of claim was filed in Australia’s Federal Court on May 5 and American Airlines will reportedly have 38 days to formally respond. The Telegraph reached out to American Airlines for comment, but were told the airline had just received the lawsuit and were still reviewing the allegations.

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