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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Joys of Senseless Regulations

From a NYT opinion piece:

A man who says he desperately needed to use an airplane bathroom after eating something bad in Honduras faces a felony charge after being accused of twisting a flight attendant’s arm to get to the lavatory, the F.B.I. said.

Joao Correa, 43, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he had a bathroom emergency 30 minutes into a March 28 Delta Air Lines flight from San Pedro Sula to Atlanta but found the single coach aisle on the Boeing 737 blocked by a beverage cart. He said he asked whether he could use the lavatory in business class but was told no.

When the cart wasn’t moved after a few minutes, Mr. Correa said, he ran for the business-class lavatory. He said the flight attendant put up her arm to block him and he grabbed it to keep his balance.
Felony charge? Yes, technically a passenger tried to overpower an airplane crew. But what were the circumstances? I know that the lawyers are quite pumped up on caffeine in the U.S - anybody forget the Korean laundry owner who was sued $54 million over a lost pant? But not many know that the poor guy spent $100000 on fighting the law suit which eventually left him, obviously, poor, and drove him out of business. The law makers in the name of beefing up security can't disengage their common senses. Laws & rules help regulate the society. But their enforcements should be based on practical judgments.

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