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Woman squashed by plane passenger

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LONDON, England -- A woman injured while squeezed next to an obese passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight has been given 13,000 ($20,000) by the airline.

If an obese passenger requires two seats on an aircraft, who should bear the cost?

The airline
The passenger

Barbara Hewson, 63, was offered damages by Virgin Atlantic after suffering a blood clot, torn leg muscles and sciatica following a flight to Los Angeles in January 2001, the UK's Press Association reported.

She said the woman passenger was so large she had to sit with the arm rests up, but when she complained, the crew said there was nothing they could do as the plane was full.

Hewson, of Swansea, Wales, who still has medical treatment, was quoted by PA on Monday as saying: "It was never about the money. No money would pay for you having sleepless nights with the pain."

The freelance writer, who travelled with her husband Roy, 67, said she spent most of her holiday in bed. "It ruined the holiday. We went out very little."

Hewson added that half-way through the flight the woman asked if she was okay, saying to her: "I'm sitting on your lap."

"I had three sessions of sitting in the hostess seat and I stood for a little while," added Hewson.

Virgin Atlantic said in a statement: "This was an unprecedented set of extremely unfortunate circumstances.

"We have apologised to Mrs Hewson and offered her compensation, which she has accepted, and we are pleased that this has now reached a conclusion."

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