Gokhan Mutlu of New York is suing after JetBlue Airways forced him to sit in an airplane toilet for a flight from California to New York. He was asked by the pilot to assume the throne after a flight attendant asked for her seat back — because the jump seat was uncomfortable.
Mutlu was traveling on a a “buddy pass,” or travel voucher that JetBlue employees can give to friends. He was told that he could not board the flight because a flight attendant took the last open seat. However, she then agreed to use the jumpt seat to free up the seat for Mutlu. After 1 1/2 hours, however, the flight attendant changed her mind and wanted the comfortable seat. Since he was not an employee, the pilot told him that he could not sit in the jump seat. That left the toilet.
Despite this objections, the pilot told him that he was in charge and Mutlu would need to go to the bathroom for an extended visit. After setting up shop in the bathroom, he was later told that he could return to his seat.
He now wants $2 million — a ridiculous amount. However, the pilot’s resolution of the problem is clearly negligent and probably negligent per se (in light of airline regulations). Moreover, as a common carrier, airlines have a greater burden under negligence tests.