Man Bashed by Falling Bag Sues Southwest for $49K

Claims he suffered compressed disc on 2013 incident
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2015 9:16 AM CST
Man Bashed by Falling Bag Sues Southwest for $49K
A Southwest Airlines ticket agent places a checked bag onto the conveyor belt at Love Field in Dallas.    (AP Photo/LM Otero)

An airline passenger who says he was injured when a suitcase fell on him as a passenger was trying to cram another bag into the bin over his head is suing Southwest Airlines. According to Jeffrey Reinhardt's $49,000 lawsuit, he suffered a compressed disc and tears to his back and neck muscles after being bashed by the suitcase on the January 2013 flight from Portland, Ore., to Las Vegas, Fox reports. Reinhardt, who says the suitcase fell after a flight attendant came over to help the passenger, is seeking $10,000 for medical bills, $5,000 for lost income, and $34,000 for pain and suffering.

Reinhardt's suit holds the airline responsible for allowing the passenger to bring the oversized suitcase on board and for failing to train the flight attendant on putting luggage in the overhead bins, although he isn't seeking damages from his fellow passenger, reports the Oregonian. A 1998 study found that baggage falling from overhead bins injures around 4,500 passengers every year, reports Mashable, which notes that while lawsuits aren't that common, there is apparently at least one lawyer out there specializing in "overhead bin malfunctions." (Another flier managed to get her lost luggage back recently—after 20 years.)

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