No word sums up America quite as well as ‘litigious’. So conscious am I of the propensity of my fellow citizens to engage the services of a lawyer that I can barely bring myself to go to the toilet at work, for fear that the sound of me relieving myself will cause untold emotional trauma to some unwitting bystander who subsequently sues for $25m.
Of course, most Americans go through their lives without even knowing the name of a good attorney, let alone leafing through the pages of Money Grabbing Bastard Monthly in order to find one to employ. But there’s definitely a group of people who are prepared to sue at the drop of a hat. Especially if the hat is dropped on their big toe, bringing a tragically early end to their once promising tap-dancing career.
Now a New York resident Gokhan Mutlu is suing JetBlue Airways for $2m after being forced to sit in a toilet for three hours on a flight to California. Apparently he was turfed out of his seat by a flight attendant who originally agreed to sit in the jumpseat so that Mutlu could board, but then actually found it too uncomfortable for the flight.
Being honest, it’s difficult to find much sympathy for any of the parties involved.
Certainly there’s no sympathy for the pilot, who allegedly told the passenger that “he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board.” I mean, I will barely say a rude word to the world’s worst waiter in New York in case they decide to sue for discrimination against serving staff, so it’s difficult to understand why the pilot thought that he could get away with attacking a passenger.
Nor for the flight attendant, whose poor little bottom got a bit more uncomfortable than she thought it would to get in the jump seat, and so had to persuade the pilot to make the nasty passenger sit in the toilet so that she could give her derriere the cushioned home it so richly deserved.
And don’t even get me started on the passenger. Sure, it’s possibly dangerous to sit with no safety belts in the bathroom. And it’s probably pretty humiliating too. But how humiliating does something have to be before you deserve $2m for your troubles? Frankly if I was paraded naked infront of a crowd of people that included my mother, all my ex-girlfriends and the entirety of The Special One’s extended family, maybe I’d think that I’d deserve a million or so.
But sitting on a toilet and missing the chance to pay two dollars to get the chance to watch yet another movie featuring Jennifer Aniston, doth not a couple of million dollars make.
Frankly, if it meant avoiding the sorry excuse for food that most American airlines serve, he should have shaken the pilot by the hand and thanked him for the best flight he’d ever had.