Jewish World Review Jan. 6, 2003 / 3 Shevat, 5763

Dan Abrams

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Consumer Reports

The "Jackpot Jury" syndrome continues | In this busy travel season, a series of lawsuits that could lead all of us to pay more for air travel.

This one from passengers who developed blood clots after sitting immobile on long flights. It's being called "economy class syndrome," even though passengers in coach are thought to be no more vulnerable than those who sit in first class Believe it or not, recently judges have been ruling that the cases should go forward.

In the wake of 9/11, with the airliners teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, with the immediate need for better security and now for million-dollar devices to protect against shoulder-fired missiles, this is why we may have to pay more for air travel.

One judge ruled the airliners failure to warn of the syndrome could make it what is called a legal accident. Come on, immobility leads to the condition, then don't fly in the plane or get your lazy behind up. Does this mean people who are claustrophobic are entitled to a warning as well? What about ear popping or people with ear problems? The list goes on and on. It's their responsibility to know.

It's a conversation a person should have with his or her doctor.

An American Heart Association report this year identified people with a history of heart disease or stroke as high-risk passengers and found that everyone else was at little risk.

So all of us have to pay more and possibly less money goes to security because some people with heart trouble didn't take enough trips to the laboratory on a long flight.

The "Jackpot Jury" syndrome continues.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.


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