|Flying the Turbulent Skies Lands a Lawsuit|
|Wednesday, October 19 2011|
A passenger is suing Continental Airlines and three other carriers alleging she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and a fear of flying after experiencing a turbulent flight.
Colleen O'Neal, a resident of Lubbock, Texas, charges in her lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court that her plane traversed through tornadoes and thunderstorms shortly after departing College Station bound for Houston. According to the lawsuit, the normally short flight took more than two hours and the plane "fell repeatedly, and felt as if it had lost power and was falling out of the sky." O'Neal further claims she believed she was going to die.
Due to her recently acquired fear of flying, O'Neal charges that she has lost economic benefits because she cannot advance from her Texas Department of Public Safety position to a Federal Emergency Management Agency job because it would require air travel. She is suing for physical and mental anguish, medical bills and the cost of the lawsuit.
O'Neal purchased the ticket from Continental. She is also suing United Airlines (which merged with Continental), Colgan Air (which operated the aircraft) and Pinnacle Airlines (which owns Colgan Air).
Continental and Pinnacle officials said they had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
—Source: Houston Chronicle