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JetBlue Passengers Sue over Pilot Scare

Source: USA Today

Posted on 14 Jun 2012 by Neilson

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JetBlueTen passengers who were on a March JetBlue flight disrupted by a pilot's bizarre behavior are suing the airline, the Associated Press reports.

In the suit, the passengers say they feared for their lives as JetBlue Capt. Clayton Osbon ran through the cabin screaming about Jesus and al-Qaida.

Osbon eventually has to be physically pinned down by crew and passengers as the New York-to-Las Vegas flight diverted to the Texas panhandle city of Amarillo.

The plaintiffs claim JetBlue was "grossly negligent" in allowing Osbon to fly. The suit was filed in state Supreme Court in Queens, N.Y.

No one was seriously hurt during the March 27 flight, though AP notes that a flight attendant suffered bruised ribs as passengers rushed to restrain Osbon.

Osbon is scheduled to appear at a hearing in Amarillo on Friday in which the court will evaluate whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. Facing federal charges of interfering with a flight crew, Osbon could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

JetBlue did not immediately comment about the lawsuit, which AP writes "claims JetBlue knew or should have known he was unfit to be entrusted with the aircraft as pilot."

The plaintiffs, all residents of the New York City area, cite emotional distress in seeking unspecified damages.