In what could make for a fascinating torts case, an airplane full of passengers witnesses a co-pilot losing his mind in the cockpit and then having to be forcibly restrained by the other crew members as he demanded to speak to God. The Air Canada co-pilot was handcuffed to a seat for the rest of the flight. Ironically, air carriers have refused to show Snakes on a Plane as too scary for passengers.
The incident occurred on a flight for Heathrow when passengers started hearing the co-pilot’s breakdown.
Horrified passengers on the flight from Canada saw the man being pinned down by fellow crew members as he yelled loudly and demanded to “speak to God”.
The co-pilot was shackled by his ankles and handcuffed to a seat as the jet was forced to make an emergency landing at the Republic of Ireland’s Shannon Airport.
Passengers then saw him being led off the plane with his feet still bound and muttering to himself.
In such cases, negligence is often the best option though many try negligent infliction of emotional distress. However, the latter tort is difficult because any negligence by the airline would depend on its failure to properly screen or monitor its crew members for signs of mental instability. There may not have been any such signs. Moreover, absent physical injury, distress claims are difficult to make. Moreover, there will be some question as to the jurisdiction for any likely cases. In the passengers’ favor, a common carrier is subject to a higher standard of care — making even slight negligence actionable.
For the full story, click here