Flight attendant did not injure passenger's shoulder: defense
|Airlines, Worker/Workplace Negligence|
|Kevin Brown v. Southwest Airlines Co. and John Doe, No. 8:11-CV- 01498-SCB-TGW|
|U.S. District Court, Middle District, FL|
|Susan C. Bucklew
- James D. Arnold; Morgan & Morgan P A; Tampa, Fl, for Kevin Brown
- Adam Brum; Morgan & Morgan P A; Tampa, FL, for Kevin Brown
- Jeffrey Tedder M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; St. Petersburg, FL called by: Adam Brum, James Arnold
- William Meadows II, M.D.; Physical Rehabilitation; Tampa, FL called by: Adam Brum, James Arnold
- Richard K. BowersJr.; Banker Lopez Gassler P.A.; Tampa, FL, for Southwest Airlines Co., John Doe
- Jeffrey M. James; Banker Lopez Gassler P.A.; Tampa, FL, for Southwest Airlines Co., John Doe
- Self-insured for Southwest Airlines Co. and John Doe
On Feb. 15, 2009, plaintiff Kevin Brown, 55, an acoustical installer, was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight that had departed from Tampa and was en route to Denver when he claimed a flight attendant bumped his right arm. Brown claimed that he injured his shoulder.
Brown sued the flight attendant, whose identity was unknown, and Southwest Airlines Co. for negligence. Brown claimed that the flight attendant hit his arm while he was sitting in an aisle seat near the back of the aircraft. The flight attendant was dropped from the suit after the airline acknowledged that he was within the course and scope of his employment.
Defense counsel denied that the flight attendant was negligent. They claimed that he was walking up the aisle to respond to a call light when he accidentally stumbled and hit the back of Brown's seat.
After the flight landed in Denver, airport EMS came to the gate area and examined Brown, who claimed that his right shoulder was dislocated. He was fitted with a sling and traveled on to Los Angeles, where the shoulder went back into place on its own. He did not obtain any further treatment until his return to Tampa several weeks later, when he visited a medical clinic. Brown, who complained of shoulder pain, was referred for physical therapy, which he underwent. He claimed that his orthopedist diagnosed him with a torn rotator cuff in December 2009. He underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in April 2010.
Brown claimed that he has a limited range of motion and limitations on lifting. He sought to recover damages for past and future medical expenses and past and future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel claimed that Brown's injury was pre-existing, degenerative and not caused by the incident on the plane. They further argued that the impact to the back of the seat or to Brown's arm could not have caused a shoulder dislocation or other significant injury.
The jury rendered a verdict for the defense.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's and defense counsel.