Stella Case No. 004, Originally Published: 18 September 2002
Attorney Philip Shafer of Ashland, Ohio, flew on Delta Airlines from New Orleans to Cincinnati and was given a seat, he says, next to a fat man.
“He was a huge man,” Shafer says. “He and I [were] literally and figuratively married from the right kneecap to the shoulder for two hours. That’s not what I paid for.”
Shafer therefore “suffered embarrassment, severe discomfort, mental anguish and severe emotional distress,” he claims in a lawsuit against the airline. Shafer figures this embarrassment, discomfort, mental anguish and emotional distress could be cured by a $9,500 payment from Delta, but he’s willing to settle out of court.
“Literally married”? Surely the “huge man” is ready for a divorce, and will happily settle for half of Shafer’s net worth.
- “Ashland Attorney Sues over ‘Jet Jam’,” Mansfield News Journal, 1 August 2002.
I was not able to find any updates on the disposition of this case. It was a runner-up for the 2002 awards.
Lisa Jo in Indiana: “I think the ‘fat man’ in question should sue for divorce and get half.”
You’d make an absolutely vicious lawyer, Lisa Jo! 🙂
My 2020 Thoughts on the Case
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), obesity by itself does not constitute a “disability” that must be “accommodated” by businesses that serve the public. It would be interesting to know what happened in this case, but I suspect it was either withdrawn or thrown out. (Neither! See more in the second comment.)
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