Screaming Child Bursts Passenger's Ear Drum. Airline Sued

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Screaming Child Bursts Passenger's Ear Drum. Airline Sued

Well (pun intended) now we've heard it all.
A 67 year old American passenger traveling from Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia, on Qantas Airlines was stunned when a child screamed in her ear. The passenger, Jean Barnard, claims her eardrum was ruptured, and blamed the airline for "failing to take necessary precautions to prevent the accident."

The passenger, says Travel Trends, claimed the injury was so severe blood erupted from her ears and she was left "stone cold deaf."

Apparently the pain didn't cause Barnard to lose her sense of humor.
Reportedly she wrote to her travel agent, that had her eardrum not been exploding, she would have "dragged the kid out of his mothers arm and stomped him to death."
That, she added, would have caused an international incident.

It seems, however the event did in fact create an "international incident."
The Bangkok News Net claims Qantas produced emails claiming the American tourist had hearing problems before the 3-year old boy shouted in her ear from the opposite seat, and there were no prior signs the child would be a problem, so the airline is not liable.

Nevertheless, Macleans news service, reports the parties did come to a "confidential settlement," with Qantas' lawyers arguing that there was no way the flight attendants could have predicted the child would scream, and therefore no way to have prevented the injury.

The case had been in litigation for a year; the incident occurred in January 2009.
Neither party would discuss the terms of the settlement, further proof, if any were needed, that the skies remain unfriendly.

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