Man sues Delta Airlines for $2 million; charges noisy flight damaged his ears

PORTLAND, OR—Many passengers have complained about the loud, sustained roar of a long plane flight. However, Kent J. Neilson, an Oregon man, decided to go beyond simply complaining. He filed a $2 million lawsuit against Delta Airlines,  charging that an April 28, 2010, flight from Minneapolis to Portland caused him to suffer permanent binaural hearing loss, as well as “disabling and severely aggravating” tinnitus in both ears.

In the complaint, filed November 18, 2011, in Multnomah County [OR] Circuit Court, Neilson said that when he arrived in Portland after a very loud 4-hour flight, he had temporary hearing loss in one ear, which has now developed into permanent loss in both ears.

The complainant alleged that the Delta flight staff failed to offer him earplugs or take other action to reduce his noise exposure. Neilson also claimed that a flight attendant had informed him that other passengers had complained about the noise on a previous flight. 

A Delta spokesman told Today in the Sky, a USA Today blog, that the airline cannot comment on pending litigation.