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A Lufthansa passenger is suing the airline, saying he was thrown around so violently by severe turbulence that his back was fractured

A Lufthansa passenger is suing the airline, saying he was thrown around so violently by severe turbulence that his back was fractured
  • A Lufthansa flight from Austin to Germany encountered severe turbulence last year.

  • A passenger sued the airline last Friday, saying he experienced a fractured lumbar and herniated disc.

  • He says the flight crew didn't warn passengers, then instructed them to delete images upon landing.

Lufthansa is being sued by a passenger who says he fractured his back when severe turbulence threw him against the ceiling of the plane during a flight in March 2023.

Elwaleed Sidahmed filed a lawsuit against the German airline in a Texas District Court last Friday, which Business Insider has seen.

It says he was traveling on Flight 469 from Austin to Frankfurt, Germany last March when the plane encountered "severe and violent turbulence."

Around an hour into the flight, there were sudden changes in the altitude of the Airbus A330, the complaint says.

The "violent aircraft jolting, shaking, and rocking," forced several passengers out of their seats, it adds. The suit says Sidahmed "violently struck the cabin ceiling and was thrown violently back down to his seat."

He says this impact caused a lumbar back fracture and a herniated disc.

The case against Lufthansa claims that the seatbelt sign was never illuminated, and the flight crew didn't warn anybody about the turbulence.

At the time of the incident, a Lufthansa spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement the plane was hit by "brief severe turbulence."

"This was so-called clear air turbulence, which can occur without visible weather phenomena or advance warning," they added.

A passenger on the flight previously told BI that she thought that the plane was going to crash and that she would die.

"It was one of those moments where within five-to-ten minutes of processing, you knew you were going to die and we didn't know if we were going to make it safely anywhere," Rolanda Schmidt said.

The complaint says the flight continued for another hour before diverting to Washington Dulles International Airport.

"Upon landing, the flight crew told passengers over the plane's speaker to delete any pictures or videos they had taken of the flight," the suit claims.

'"Lufthansa issued the instruction at least twice before the passengers were able to disembark," it added. "On information and belief, Lufthansa's instructions resulted in the destruction and loss of important evidence regarding the accident on Flight 469."

This was also claimed by Schmidt, who said she and fellow passengers were told to delete images from the flight, a request she declined.

Some pictures have been published of the incident, showing items strewn around the cabin.

Lufthansa did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider