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24 Passengers Join Jetblue “Pilot Meltdown” Case claiming $68 million in damages

Plaintiffs now numbering 34, seek damages in wake of harrowing in-flight behavior of Jetblue captain, reports aviation accident attorney Jonathan Reiter.

10/06/2012 // New York, NY, USA // New York Injury Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)

In an amended complaint filed on September 27 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 24 additional plaintiffs joined a lawsuit over the “pilot meltdown” episode aboard Jetblue Flight 191. In all, 34 passengers from the March 27th flight — which had to make an emergency landing after the pilot in command began ranting and terrifying passengers and crew — have joined the lawsuit, brought against the flight’s operator, JetBlue Airways Corporation, and the pilot, Clayton Osbon.

The passengers are represented by the Manhattan-based law firm of Jonathan C. Reiter, and Garden City, New York’s Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon. Each plaintiff is asking for $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages bringing the total damages claimed to $68 million.

The amended complaint alleges a frightening chain of events: a veteran airline captain running up and down the aisle yelling about Al-Quaeda, Iran and 9/11 and to “say your prayers” and “we’re all going down.” Osbon, the complaint alleges, had displayed disturbing behavior on the flight deck, telling the first officer that they would not make it to their destination. Plaintiffs were terrified, fearing they would be killed in a plane crash. Osbon was ultimately subdued by passengers some of whom were experienced in security. The flight, which had a planned route from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas, diverted to Amarillo, Texas where the passengers were detained on the airplane for questioning, adding to their anxiety.

In July, Osbon was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the criminal charge of interfering with a flight crew. The complaint in the current case alleges that psychotic episodes like Osbon’s are almost always preceded by behavioral, emotional, and mental changes that should have alerted Jetblue to Osbon’s impaired mental state.

Indeed, negligent supervision is one of the five causes of action the complaint alleges against Jetblue. Others include assault, reckless and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of mental distress. Jetblue is liable under these causes of action, because Osbon was acting in his capacity as a Jetblue employee at the time.

“The flight ended with an arrest but it could have ended in tragedy, says aviation accident attorney Jonathan Reiter. “That makes it particularly important that there is investigation and accountability — and that something like this never happens again.”

For more than 30 years, the Manhattan-based accident law firm of Jonathan C. Reiter has been among the country’s leading personal injury, medical malpractice, and aviation accident law firms. Our attorneys are dynamic, compassionate, and experienced trial lawyers with an impressive track record for winning just awards for clients in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. We are committed advocates for those who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of airline crashes, medical malpractice, defective products, construction accidents, mass disasters, and other types of negligence.

Media Information:

Phone: 212-736-0979
Url: New York Injury Accident Lawyer

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