I have seen dozens of petty airline-related lawsuits over the years, but this one takes the cake. An Oregon man is suing Delta Air Lines for $2MN, claiming he suffered permanent hearing loss on a fight from Minneapolis to Portland because the cabin was too loud.
Kent J. Neilson claims the area around his exit row seat (10B) was particularly loud, leading to partial-but-permanent hearing loss in both ears. He also allegedly suffers from “disabling and severely aggravating” tinnitus in both ears because of the flight. According to his complaint, after grumbling about the noise the flight crew refused to land the aircraft.
His evidence? Hearsay that the FAs confirmed the flight was unusually loud. This was an A320 aircraft and I have sat adjacent to the engines before myself–yes, you hear them, but they do not reach the decibel level required for permanent (or partial) hearing loss. Is it not reasonable to conclude that if the sound level had been as bad as Nielson alleges, others would have suffered hearing loss as well, particularly his fellow exit row passengers? Do you really think Delta would have continued the flight if the noise-level was unbearable? I do not.
Perhaps Mr. Neilson should look into some Bose noise-cancelling headphones before he flies again.