$500K in Damages Claimed from Refusal to Use Technology Fallout

In this day and age, technology is surrounding us everywhere and being used by everyone from kids to seniors.  Technology is now being used on airplanes as well to communicate with flight attendants.

ABC News, along with other sources, reports that a passenger recently refused to use new airline technology on a Virgin America flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco to order a drink.  The passenger, Mr. Salvatore Francesco Bevivino, requested a soft drink from two flight attendants who insisted that Mr. Bevivino use the touch screen to make his request.  Mr. Bevivino refused.  Finally, a third flight attendant fulfilled Mr. Bevivino’s request.

As Mr. Bevivino was getting off the plane, he was stopped by the pilot of the aircraft and was asked to go with six uniformed officers that were waiting for him at the door.  Allegedly, the flight attendants accused Mr. Bevivino of using profanity against them and not flushing the toilet after use.  As a result of this incident, Mr. Bevivino filed a lawsuit against the airline for $500,000, claiming damages resulting from his personal injuries including damages for emotional and mental distress, disability, punitive damages and damages to reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, fright, shock, loss of reputation, and denial of social pleasure and enjoyment, damage to plaintiff’s processional reputation resulting in negative damage to plaintiff’s career and other damages.

Although this particular incident may or may not make it to trial, it brings to light the continuing replacement of human interaction with technology that is occurring.  Prime examples of this include self-checkout counters at grocery stores, online shopping, ATM machines, text/emails/messaging applications, etc.  With change often comes resistance, as some are more comfortable with the increased reliance on artificial intelligence and decrease in social interaction.  Obviously, Mr. Bevivino did not embrace this new trend.

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