Passenger sues Lufthansa over back fracture caused during ‘severe turbulence’

LUFTHANSA AIRLINES Airbus A330-300 over airport.
Vytautas Kielaitis /

A Lufthansa passenger who claims he suffered a lumbar back fracture and a herniated disc on a Lufthansa flight during severe turbulence is suing the airline. 

The lawsuit filed in a Texas District Court, United States (US), on February 16, 2024, said that during a Lufthansa flight from Austin to Frankfurt on March 1, 2023, Elwaleed Sidahmed “violently struck the cabin ceiling and was thrown violently back down to his seat” due to turbulence. 

Court documents seen and reported by Business Insider claim that the seat belt sign on flight LH469 was lit up at the time and cabin staff failed to warn passengers before the turbulence occurred.  

The “severe and violent turbulence” happened about an hour into the flight aboard an Airbus A330, Sidahmed claimed. 

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Business Insider that the plane was struck by “brief severe turbulence”. 

The airline referred to it as “clear air turbulence”, which can “occur without visible weather phenomena or advance warning”. 

The lawsuit also claims that after the Airbus A330 diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) cabin crew told the passengers to delete any photos or video of the incident. 

“Upon landing, the flight crew told passengers over the plane’s speaker to delete any pictures or videos they had taken of the flight,” the suit claims. 

AeroTime has contacted Lufthansa for comment.  

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