Woman Sues Airline Over Turbulence

A woman is suing Continental Airlines claiming that turbulence caused her mental trauma. As a result of her flight she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, fears flying and further claims she lost out on getting a job that would require air travel. She alleges the airline made a mistake in allowing the take off.

In 2009, Texas resident Colleen O’Neal flew from College Station to Houston. She claims that, at the time of departure, weather reports showed a threat of “tornados, wind shear, and dangerously strong winds with rotating and intense thunderstorms.” The flight took off anyway and the 20-minute trip turned into a two hour flight where the place “fell repeatedly, and felt as if it had lost power and was falling out of the sky.” The turbulence caused O’Neal “extreme fear during this flight and believed that she was going to die.” The situation was serious enough for the pilots to consider making an emergency landing, but it was aborted. After landing, crew members and passengers aboard the flight took a picture because they all survived.

In the two years since her fateful trip, O’Neal claims she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and suffers from nightmares, flashbacks and an intense fear of flying. In addition, she works for the Texas Department of Public Safety employee and had hoped to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, as that job requires air travel she claims that the bad flight caused her to stop flying and lose out on the potential economic benefits. She asserts the airline failed to obtain necessary weather information and take action to ensure the safety of passengers aboard the flight.


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