Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Domestic Violence on an International Flight

I woke up this morning and checked the news right away because we have been having some wicked winter weather here in Chicago. I teach a social justice class one day a week and wanted to see if school would be canceled today.

While perusing the Chicago Tribune site, I came across this story.

Basically a man hit his wife six times, in public, causing injuries to her face and lip. Rather than take responsibility for being abusive, he is suing United Airlines for over-serving him on the plane.
Responded United spokeswoman Jean Medina: "We believe that a lawsuit that suggests that we are somehow responsible for the consequences of a passenger's physical assault on his own wife is without any merit whatsoever."

Airlines are frequently sued for the acts of drunken passengers, typically by flight attendants or other passengers who suffered harm from an unruly traveler during a flight.

What makes this case a rarity, legal experts said, is that it was brought by a person drinking the airline's alcohol. By filing the lawsuit, the Shimamotos also risk having their private lives exposed by the airline's attorneys.

The idea that the server should have stopped serving is often accepted when the injury is to a third person, such as in a drunk-driving situation," Speta said. "Generally, the courts have not been receptive to people saying, 'I asked for the drink and you gave it to me.' "

But crafting United's defense will be tricky, legal experts said, because the case involves conflicting international and state law.

Ayisha Shimamoto's claim that she was harmed as a result of the carrier's negligence, one element of the couple's complaint, would be a likely slam-dunk if United's conduct in question had taken place in a bar, rather than on an international flight, legal experts said.

She was harmed because of the airline's negligence? No, she was harmed because she is a woman married to an abusive man. The scariest part is that the story is framed in such a way as to make it about international law when it is actually about domestic violence.

5 comments:

zombietron said...

This is so disturbing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
So the couple are suing the airline TOGETHER? This makes no sense. The world makes no sense.

aprilx said...

That is so beautiful. Men like him are what make the world a better place for us weak, fragile, dumb women. God bless him!

girlslashwoman said...

Yeah, I wonder who put her up to that.
That woman needs to give up on United and focus on getting the trash out of her life!

llz.night_shadow said...

Alcohol makes you do very strange things. Otherwise, would people who were drunk crash their cars, killing themselves? Were they in an abusive relationship with their car? No, it was the alcohol.

I believe the husband was stupid for drinking, but the airline is stupid for serving him that much liquor. If the wife understands, and is willing to work through it, there is no legal case there. I love how you think you're better than everyone else. Honestly. You clearly know the situation better from a news article than the wife does from being there. It really depends. I also love how you have comment moderation enabled. Which means this isn't going to make it to the site. And also, on a side note, I find it hard to believe you teach a class. No one this ignorant, biased, and stoic would make a good teacher.

Wordsmith said...

Just happened to stumble over here....ya know -

It really depends. I also love how you have comment moderation enabled. Which means this isn't going to make it to the site.

Ya mean - kinda like you blocking your profile? Kettle => pot.

And why is it necessary to insult? You understand what it 'says' about you, correct?

And also, on a side note, I find it hard to believe you teach a class. No one this ignorant, biased, and stoic would make a good teacher.

As for the post and the story in the Chicago Tribune. It's about saving face, honor. The man assaults his wife on an international flight and then wants to hold a third party responsible for his actions. Inebriation aside, it would appear the man is pretty darned reluctant to 'man up' and accept his role. Typical abuser behavior; ask my dad.

Although Yoichi Shimamoto was charged and sentenced to 18 months’ probation, the couple contend that United Airlines ultimately was responsible for his violent outburst, according to the lawsuit.