An actor who suffered what he says was a painful and humiliating experience on a flight from Reno to Los Angeles is suing American Airlines and SkyWest. Stephen Keys says one of his pinky fingers became stuck in an armrest for almost an hour on the September flight, USA Today reports. According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Keys' finger got stuck in a small hole in the armrest when he raised it to access his seat belt. "The spring mechanism embedded inside of this hole in the armrest applied intense pressure to plaintiff's finger, immediately inflicting injury, swelling, and pain," the lawsuit states.
Keys, who was seated in first class, says he repeatedly tried to free his finger, NBC Los Angeles reports. "By this time, dozens of passengers became aware of Mr. Keys' perilous condition, causing his dire situation to become a humiliating public spectacle,'' the lawsuit states. "By the end of it all, he remained entrapped in this nightmarish condition, suffering for nearly an hour." He was freed after an airline mechanic took the seat apart. Keys, who has appeared in movies including Soul Plane, says he suffered "severe emotional distress and weeks of pain" and has been unable to drive or play with his children since the incident. He is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages from the airlines. (A passenger suing British Airways says he was injured by the obese man next to him.)