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Jean Barnard, Qantas Passenger, Settles Hearing-Loss Lawsuit Against Airline

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Jean Barnard, an American tourist, claimed that a screaming child on a Qantas flight in 2009 left her partially deaf. She filed a lawsuit against the airline which has just been settled, according to the Daily Mail.

Barnard claimed that a screaming 3-year-old on an Alice Springs to Darwin flight caused the damage. Barnard claims the pain was so severe that her ears started to bleed; she had to be removed from the flight and taken to the hospital. She claims she was left with permanent hearing damage and sued the airline for physical and mental suffering, medical expenses and loss of income (she claims she was unable to work due to trauma).

"The pain was so excruciating that I didn't even know I was deaf," Barnard said in her statement to the court. Funny, no other passengers were harmed.

Qantas Airlines argued that it was not responsible for a "small child's random, impulsive scream" as the event was not "unexpected or unusual event and not related in any way to the operation of the aircraft." The airline and Barnard reached a confidential agreement out of court.

Barnard happened to wear hearing aids before she got on that plane. Nevertheless, Barnard sent a letter to her travel agent following the flight that read: "I guess we are simply fortunate that my eardrum was exploding and I was swallowing blood. Had it not been for that, I would have dragged that kid out of his mother's arms and stomped him to death."

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