Today I am on a business trip and taking a routine flight on what will remain an un-named carrier. I have been assigned one of the many small seats all carriers seem to have jam-packed into an airplane. I’m not terribly comfortable in this small seat, however, I am more than able to keep myself within the seat’s territorial boundaries.
Here’s the rub … literally. The super-sized human in the seat next to me, however, is not able to observe the seat’s territorial boundaries due to his obesity. I am being pummeled during the entire flight which gets my frustration level boiling and my problem solving brain crunching.
Once upon a time, mortal combat might have been the preferred method of problem resolution, however, the kinder, gentler, mature law student that I am, my thoughts go somewhere else. Most specifically to the tort of battery. Do you see where I’m going with this?
For discussion purposes, battery can be described when the offending person acts intending to cause contact with the person of another and a harmful or offensive contact directly or indirectly occurs. Basically, battery occurs when the defendant exceeds the scope of consent. Clearly, I do not consent to having a jumbo human in my lap, I would not consent, ever.
In light of the American obesity epidemic and in also of airline companies continuing to seek new and creative ways of charging extra, here’s an idea. While booking a flight, a person should be required to submit a profile that includes weight and height honestly disclosed. The booking system will calculate whether a person of your size needs more space and charge you accordingly while providing that extra space. This would bring an end to territorial disputes between passengers, eliminate my desire to file a battery suit against the other passenger, and lets not forget the joint tortfeasor liability on the carriers part for creating half of the problem.
Those are not ambulance sirens I’m thinking about chasing, just a simple matter of fairness between citizens.