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Woman Sues Airline over Screaming Toddler!

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momlogic's Vivian: Last year, I wrote a blog called "Air Wars" -- a vivid recollection of a nightmare plane ride with my inconsolable 2-year old. Half of you deeply felt my pain; the other half felt compelled to chastise me for neglecting to drug my daughter into a complacent, drooling silence. (Benadryl isn't always the answer, BTW -- it's scientifically proven to make some kids even more hyper. But I digress.)

toddler crying

Anyway, a poor mom enveloped in the flames of a similar hell recently had to tolerate even bigger jackasses than I did -- and one of them even sprung a lawsuit on the airline! reports that American tourist Jean Barnard, 67, found the nerve to sue Qantas because (she claims) the staff of the airline failed to protect her from the screaming toddler she blames for permanent hearing loss!

Barnard said, "The pain was so excruciating that I didn't even know I was deaf." In response, Qantas legal said, "Flight attendants cannot predict when children aboard an aircraft are about to scream. There is no evidence that the child was screaming in the terminal, or on board the aircraft prior to the particular scream which allegedly caused the damage."

The case settled last week, but we were treated to this last missive from the woman (WHO WORE A HEARING AID DURING THE FLIGHT IN QUESTION): "I guess we are simply fortunate that my eardrum was exploding and I was swallowing blood. Had it not been for that, I would have dragged that kid out of his mother's arms and stomped him to death."

Um, her preexisting deafness couldn't have been aggravated by the sudden change in cabin pressure that occurs during ALL flights, could it?

And lemme guess: She doesn't have kids, right?

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199 comments so far | Post a comment now
really July 27, 2010, 3:59 PM

Bad parenting is NOT taking a baby on a plane! Bad parenting rears its ugly head when adults develop who are not compassionate enough and un self centered enough to tolerate their own species in babyhood!!

Les July 27, 2010, 5:05 PM

The very first person commented there are places children should just not be. I agree (and I am a parent)but where in the world can one go when on an airplane? Are we supposed to ask the pilot to land because our child may be disturbing someone. I DO love it, though, when one without children tells us with children what they would do if it were them!! LOL!!!

Another Anonymous July 27, 2010, 5:49 PM

Btw, all of you people telling those bothered by the noise to wear earplugs may want to consider that it can make it harder for people to hear announcements from the pilot & crew. In an emergency that could jeopardize someone’s safety. Or at the very least delay take off when they don’t hear the instructions to prepare for takeoff.

mercaties July 27, 2010, 5:58 PM

anon- why are you on a website called MOMLOGIC? When you do not have any kids? I joined this website so that I could communicate with other mom’s. Go find a website called kid haters or something.

Sarah Jenna July 27, 2010, 6:14 PM

Kids cry…thats what they do. Its not the most pleasant sound for anyone but deal with it. Its a part of life in a public place.
And MORE importantly…who says they want to “stomp a child to death?” She should be charged with criminal threatening and the parents should be suing her!

Just8 July 27, 2010, 6:31 PM

Jana, “as a pharmacist” is it legal to use benadryll to sedate a child on an airplane. Wow, I wouldn’t want medication from you.

Just8 July 27, 2010, 6:53 PM

Barb, best of luck. Throw away your parenting books, you will learn a lot more from your new friends and experience.

de July 27, 2010, 7:33 PM

Under the Criminal Code, it is an offence to knowingly utter or convey a threat to cause death or bodily harm to any person.
The offence of utter death threat may be prosecuted by summary conviction or by indictment. If prosecuted by indictment, the accused person is entitled to elect trial by jury and upon conviction is liable to up to five years jail.
To be an offence, the threat need not be made directly to the intended victim. The intended victim need not even be aware of the threat. Nor is it necessary that the person making the threat intend that it be communicated to the target of the threat

Anonymouse July 27, 2010, 8:40 PM

Barring unforeseen circumstances, it is very possible to control your kid on a plane. If not overtly then by planning ahead. Getting your child to go to sleep prior to the flight, having something to entertain them with, and, most importantly, knowing enough about your child to know whether he/she can handle the plane ride. I’m not saying children should never fly, because obviously that isn’t feasible, but I do believe it is a parents responsibility to control their child. Why should everyone else have to wear earplugs to acomodate YOUR child? Some parents don’t like to hear that obviously. That it is THEIR child and it is no one elses responsibility, and why should they have to miss out on plane travel because they have a child. The simple answer is because you decided to have a child.

HarryD July 27, 2010, 8:53 PM

It seems to me that some of these parents are the same parents who take their children to movies, restaurants, etc. without regard for the other people. Then when people stare and give dirty looks because their child is crying, they get offended that someone could possibly be annoyed by a loud screaming infant. I mean isn’t that a little selfish? It seems that most people here aren’t blaming the child, because lets be honest it isn’t the child’s fault, it is the parent’s. I agree with the idea that certain trips should be saved for when a child is older and can appreciate it. I believe some poster said that they took their child to SE Asia or Australia. That’s absurd, their is no reason to take your child on such a long plane ride. The ride is nerve wracking enough I couldn’t even imagine having to fly 12+ hours with a child screaming. It seems like some parents can’t understand why people don’t want to put their own comfort behind that of a toddlers. The reason is simple, it isn’t our child, sure we were all children at one point or another but that doesn’t absolve you of all your responsibilities. Yes a child is a gift from God, but it is YOUR gift so YOU need to take care of it not expect everyone to bend over backwards to keep you and your kid happy.

TomW July 27, 2010, 9:06 PM

I think calling a plane a “public place” is a bit out there. It is an aluminum tube flying thousands of miles above ground. You can leave a public place if something is bothering you, not so much a plane. But the same parents who complain about people not wanting to put up with their child’s wailing are the same ones who expect the world to cater to them and their children. People take that saying “It takes a village…” too literally. So here is a few fun facts for the lazier parents out there. 1) You and your child’s happiness does not outrank anyone elses. 2) It isn’t the child’s fault, it is yours. You brought him/her on the plane, and yes there are adults who act inappropriately on flights and when you bring children under a certain age with no precautions taken you are one of them. 3) The sound of a crying child is annoying and is made much worse in an environment where everyone is already a little antsy due to cabin pressure/fear of flying/etc. 4) Your child under a certain age doesn’t need to be going to Disneyworld/Australia/Paris. While your child won’t remember the trip everyone else will remember the 4 hour ride where that one kid wouldn’t stop screaming.

KarenMurphy July 27, 2010, 9:18 PM

This is hardly a new phenomena, every so often a parent of a child on a plane or in a public place gets thrown out because their child is being a nuisance and they write an article or a blog or whatever expecting everyone to be on the side of them and their precious little gift from god, and then when they receive the mail/comments from people saying that they should have been kicked out, they act surprised. I mean how could anyone not like the sound of their little darling screeching at the top of their lungs, they must be insensitive or not compassionate. Some parents need to understand not everyone thinks their child is the end all be all and is ready to inconvenience themselves for them.

Observer July 27, 2010, 9:28 PM

Without getting into my opinions too far on this issue I just have to shoot down this notion that many keep mentioning that flights are optional with kids. Some people don’t make enough money to take unpaid leave or earn enough vacation time to travel by the dramatically slower trains, bus, and automobiles and still have any time left at their destination. Certain trips can not be put off until kids are older.
Kids are people and have every right to fly…or to scream when they hurt or are scared. Adults have the right to be irritated…but shouldn’t have the right to be compensated for that irritation. Despite paying for a ticket a flight is still a public space. If you aren’t wealthy enough to afford a private plane flight you may have to try to remember that a parent can’t be expected to “control” a child as if each were a robot that came with a remote and mute button and try to be productive and helpful or at least civil instead of nasty, bitchy and litigious.

Sarah July 28, 2010, 2:59 AM

Dear Jamie…Kids throw timper-tamperins in the store, and play-grounds; you name it! I can imagine what they’re going through with their EARS poppen’.
It’s NOT bad parenting when the kids have a tantrum… it’s called LIFE.
I empathise with you about cryen’/ screamming kids…but, what ‘cha gonna do? Bite the bullet, and roll your eyes,get over it.

Brendalee Hartland  July 28, 2010, 7:59 AM

I am a mother of 4 and find this lawsuit very intriguing and genius, I really do. As the old saying goes if I had a dime for each time my moment whether it be shopping, at church, at the playground or the movies, just out in public being ruined by the rants and screams of another’s child I would be RICH!!

EmIrish7 July 28, 2010, 11:03 AM

I recently took a flight to Ireland with my daughter, who was about 19 months at the time. She slept most of the way over, but the way back wasn’t great. I was lucky to be on a plane of understanding people who saw my husband and I doing anything we could to soothe her. And for Anon-the reality it, children scream. It’s a fact. Sometimes, there is just nothing you can do. But I assure you, it can also be extremely irritating to the parents. As can ignorant people. If you shouldn’t have to shut up, why should our kids??

AGW July 28, 2010, 2:05 PM

Well I wasn’t heart broken about the “wild indians” comment OMG please don’t pretend to know the pride I have in my heritage. I think I am far more disturbed by how much you talk on here. And bragging about your ability to parent if anything. As I said, all kids are different. They are humans they don’t all act the same way, get used to it. And maybe people need to start packing their own sound proof head phones if they don’t want to hear any other noise on the plane.

AGW July 28, 2010, 2:34 PM

“emirish7”, yes, I agree. We have to listen to that loud annoying person, talking just to seem important or to be heard. That to me is worse than a screaming child. If I see a crying child I usually feel bad because you know that there is something wrong with them, and usually feel bad for the parents because you’ve been there done that. Earplugs, headphones…

Sun-E July 28, 2010, 2:41 PM

jamie…… if they are not controlled by the age of 2? really have you ever gone thru terrible 2’s? apparently not! your rediculous. actually, most of you are rediculous. comming up with all these bogus rules for children and parents why cant we just live a normal life like the rest of you! we already deal with challenges day after day y make things worse most of us are really trying our best!

Nada July 28, 2010, 3:59 PM

Having just experience my screaming toddler on a plane YESTERDAY, I can tell you Anon: There’s seriously NOTHING we can do about it.

My child has travelled since she was 6 months. She has always travelled without incident. There’s no way to know when they’ll wig out.

As for your ‘knowing better than to embarrass your parents’ - I’m sure that was the case at 5 …but 2 year old? She has no clue what embarrassment is…I mean really, she still bites her friggin toe nails -sometimes IN PUBLIC!

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