You don’t want to see the pilot during a flight. It’s much better if he’s hidden away in the cockpit, safely flying the plane. But you certainly do not want to see him running down the aisles of the cabin screaming about Jesus and al-Qaida.
Unfortunately a plane full of passengers witnessed just that on a fateful JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas in March. No one was seriously injured while trying to restrain the ranting pilot, and the plane was successfully rerouted to Amarillo, Texas, where it landed safely, but that hasn’t stopped passengers from seeking $2 million in damages over their emotional distress. On Thursday, two dozen passengers joined the suit against JetBlue, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 34.
The lawsuit claims that JetBlue was “grossly negligent” when it allowed Captain Clayton Osbon to fly. The plaintiffs allege Osbon said things like ”you better start praying right now,” ”there’s a bomb on board,” “we’re all going down” and “the plane will never make it to Vegas.”
Osbon was found not guilty by reason of insanity in July, but the plaintiffs have since filed an amended complaint, moving the suit from state Supreme Court to a federal court in Brooklyn. A final evaluation of Osbon’s mental state is due to U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson by the end of October.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
For more InsideCounsel stories about airline lawsuits, see below.