John Suayan Oct. 1, 2015, 1:06pm


A Harris County man is pursuing legal action against United Airlines, Inc. after he allegedly sustained injuries at Singapore’s Changi International Airport.

Steve Johnson filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Chicago-based airline on Aug. 18 in the Harris County 164th District Court. The Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas received the suit on Sept. 22.

In the complaint, Johnson explains that he was exiting the defendant’s aircraft at Changi Airport on New Year’s Day earlier this year when the incident in question occurred, asserting the latter was not looking out for his safety.

“As Mr. Johnson was passing through the passenger boarding bridge, from United’s plane into the airport, he stepped onto an area of the jetbridge that was in a state of disrepair, which caused him to lose his footing and fall to the ground,” the suit says. “There was neither cautionary signage nor any other material present to warn Mr. Johnson and other passengers of the state of the jetbridge.”

It adds the complainant suffered serious injuries to his left wrist and other parts of his body

Johnson faults United for the following:

• Failure to maintain the premises, in a reasonably safe condition;

• Failure to inspect the premises where the dangerous condition existed;

• Failure to correct the condition by taking reasonable measure to safeguard persons who entered the premises;

• Failure to inform Plaintiff of the dangerous condition existing on the premises; and

• Other acts deemed negligent.

United, in turn, countered the suit with an original answer that was entered on Sept. 18.

According to the respondent, Johnson’s claims “are barred in whole or in part by the provisions and limitations set forth in the Convention for the Unification of Rules for International Carriage by Air, May 28, 1999.”

The rebuttal additionally blames the plaintiff and “third parties for whom United has no responsibility or control.”

“United had no duty to warn the plaintiff of the dangerous condition, if any, on the premises that is the subject of this dispute because such condition was open and obvious,” the five-page document says.

The airline submitted a notice of removal on Sept. 22.

Johnson consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorneys John Arthur Daspit and Robert Morse of The Daspit Law Firm in Houston while United’s counsel consists of attorneys Richard T. Stilwell and Alexander D. Burch of the law firm Baker Hostetler, also in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:15-CV-2758

Harris County 164th District Court Case No. 2015-48204

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