Suit Claims In-Flight Booze Led to Domestic Violence

Courts must decide if United jet constituted a bar
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2008 2:04 PM CST
The married couple alleges flight attendants served alcohol in 20-minute intervals on the Japan-US flight.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A couple has sued United Airlines for deliberately serving the husband too much wine on a 2006 international flight, triggering a physical fight with his wife upon landing. The case rides on whether US courts find United beholden to the same liabilities as bars, and if they can preside over actions that occurred 40,000 feet above international waters, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Airlines are frequently sued for the acts of drunken passengers, but “the courts have not been receptive to people saying, ‘I asked for the drink and you gave it to me,’” a law professor says. International law limits United’s liability to actions that happen on or near a plane in flight. An airline spokeswoman says the suit is without merit.