Missy McCain has come to your law firm to seek legal advice about a
potential lawsuit against Alpha Airlines. Last week, she was a
passenger on a flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. Toward the end of
the flight she became violently ill, suffering nausea and intestinal
distress. She locked herself in the bathroom at the front of the plane,
next to the cockpit. The plane began its final approach, with orders for
passengers to remain in their seats with a seatbelt fastened for the
remainder of the flight. Missy, however, remained in the bathroom in an
As the flight attendants made final preparations for landing, Bobby
Blue, the flight attendant in charge, noticed that there was a
passenger locked in the restroom at the front of the plane. He pounded
on the door and yelled, “All right, whoever is in there. Come on out.
You’ll have to earn your mile high club membership next time.”
Passengers at the front of the plane laughed. Missy did not respond,
because she was vomiting and feeling dizzy.
Getting no response, Bobby used emergency access protocols to open
the door to the bathroom. He grabbed Missy by the hair on the back of
her head, as she kneeled in front of the toilet, and slung her out into
the aisle of the plane. He forced her to lie on her stomach, then pinned
her hands behind her back and zip tied them. Passengers were cheering
him on. The pilot, Joe Mills, radioed ahead and let the Atlanta Airport
know that there was an unruly passenger on board who had been subdued
for failing to follow instructions of a flight crew member and
interfering with flight operations. The plane was directed to a remote
area of the airport and law enforcement officers rushed to board the
plane after it had landed. They found Missy lying face down and passed
out in the aisle. They also observed physical evidence in the restroom
that showed she had, in fact, been throwing up at the time she was
seized by Bobby Blue. The officers said that no law had been broken and
that they would not arrest Missy. Missy was treated at the hospital for
dehydration, food poisoning, abrasions, and a mild concussion.
Missy contacted Alpha Airlines about the incident, requesting that
they pay her medical bills. Alpha Airlines declined to do so. They told
her that Bobby Blue was a “rogue employee” and had been fired. She wants
to know if she can sue Alpha Airlines for Bobby’s actions.
Perform legal research on the issue and prepare a memo to your
supervising attorney, summarizing the controlling law, and making a
recommendation as to whether or not Alpha Airlines could be held liable
for Bobby’s actions.
Your memo should be 3-4 pages in length. Incorporate at least 5
different law review journal articles and/or primary legal sources
(statutes, court opinions) within your work. Format citations and
references per Harvard Blue Book rules.