Woman receives £170,000 after airline 'humiliation'

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The Independent Online

A disabled woman has told how she won £170,000 after being "humiliated" by airline staff who tried to "force her" into a plane seat.

Lin Berwick, 55, of Sudbury, Suffolk, said she had suffered serious damage to her back, legs and shoulders as a result of the way she was treated on a Go flight from Edinburgh to Stansted in September 2001. She said Go's insurers had agreed to pay her £130,000 in an out-of-court settlement forthe care she needed for her injuries plus £40,000 compensation for the "trauma and public humiliation" she endured.

Ms Berwick, who campaigns for the disabled, said: "I would never want another disabled person or an elderly person to suffer the agony and humiliation I suffered ... It has ruined my life." Shesuffers from cerebral palsy, is blind, uses a wheelchair and has difficulty bending her legs.

She had pre-booked seats with extra leg room for her journey from Scotland to Essex. But once on the flight she was told that she would have to sit in a standard seat. "My husband, Ralph, who is 72 and has Parkinson's disease, told the cabin crew that I would not be able to get in the seat they were giving because there was not enough room," she said. "They said, 'Yes she will'. Then they started to manoeuvre me and try to push me to get into the seat. I got wedged. My knee buckled. In the end I was dragged out into the aisle.Other passengers tried to help me."