A man is suing Israel’s national airline after he got stuck in a Business Class seat during a flight from Tel Aviv to New York JFK and ended up getting seriously injured when a flight attendant had to pull him free.
Eshaugh Wiseman filed the lawsuit in a Brooklyn district court earlier this week, alleging that El Al Israel Airlines should be held accountable for the injuries he sustained because the flight attendants failed to explain to him how the seat operates.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Wiseman are bringing the lawsuit under the Montreal Convention, which holds airlines responsible for passenger injuries unless they can prove the injury was the result of the passenger’s own negligence.
Described as a “gentleman of advanced age”, Wiseman had booked himself a Business Class seat for the 11-hour flight to New York on October 23, 2022.
The Business Class seats on El Al’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners convert into fully flat beds but Wiseman’s lawsuit alleges that the flight attendants failed to properly show him or the other passengers how to safely recline the seat.
The lawsuit claims that Wiseman’s “lower extremity” became entrapped within the seat as it was being reclined, forcing him to call a flight attendant to help him.
In order to free Wiseman, it’s alleged that the flight attendant “forcibly” pulled him free, resulting in a serious and permanent injury that has caused him “great pain, agony and mental anguish”.
Wiseman says he has been forced to spend money on medical treatment for the injuries he sustained during the flight.
The Montreal Convention is often used by passengers seeking compensation after they have been scalded by hot beverages onboard a flight, although a European court recently ruled that the international treaty can also be used by passengers who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an accident.
In 2021, a man won £130,000 ($181,000) in a lawsuit against British Airways after he slipped in a puddle of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur close to one of the airline’s check-in desks at Heathrow Airport.
The accident left Andreas Wuchner with permanent brain damage after he fell and hit his head on the floor. Wuchner said the accident ultimately led to his small stationary business going bust.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.