Suit: cabin noise deafened man

by Walter Olson on November 23, 2011

“An Oregon man who was flying home from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport pleaded with a Delta Airlines flight attendant about the ‘extreme discomfort’ he was enduring because of a loud noise during the nearly four-hour flight.” Kent Neilson says he suffered permanent hearing loss and tinnitus and wants $2 million. [Oregonian]

{ 7 comments }

1 KDP 11.23.11 at 10:31 am

Is the guy so cheap that he cannot put our $1.50 for a pair of foam earplugs at his local Wal-Mart?

2 Walter Olson 11.23.11 at 10:34 am

>KDP I think the idea is that he was given no reason in advance to expect such a noisy flight.

3 John Burgess 11.23.11 at 1:13 pm

I’m going to suggest that he had defective ears to begin with if a four-hour flight caused so much damage. The 99.999% who fly regularly report no such harm, so this does appear to be idiosyncratic and impossible to predict.

Having said that, I find noise-cancelling headphones one of the greatest inventions of the 20th C. They take the wear-and-tear of air travel down several notches.

4 Jim Collins 11.23.11 at 3:08 pm

I have spent quite a bit of time near F-14s and F/A-18s on full afterburner and suffered minimal hearing loss.(aircraft carrier flight deck) I just rode Delta out of Minneapolis-St. Paul last week in one of those cigar tubes with wings they call an aircraft and actually found them to be kind of quiet.

5 D 11.23.11 at 4:12 pm

The plaintiff previously sued a one-armed man for clapping too loudly.

6 John Burgess 11.23.11 at 6:03 pm

@Jim Collins: One of my offices was at the end of a military/civilian airfield. F-15 demonstrators operated out of that field. They would practice regularly, going vertical right over over my head. They weren’t quite as awesome as the C-5As coming in to land.

Worst of all, though, was the Concorde on takeoff.

I’m definitely on the deaf side of the line. Which is a mixed blessing, actually. It sucks for the people with whom I converse and constantly ask to repeat themselves. It’s good for living in a city. I don’t hear the noise at all, short of sirens.

7 Jim Collins 11.29.11 at 11:54 am

I’ve got about a 15% loss myself, but it took quite a while to get it. I do not believe that you can acquire such a loss in just one flight on a relatively quiet aircraft. If you want pure noise, I reccommend the A-37. It isn’t called “Tweety Bird” for nothing.

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