(Sorry, my headline writing skills have failed me 😀 )

IN an echo of the final episode of “Seinfeld,” which involved a violation of a “good Samaritan law” that required a witness to a crime to come to the victim’s assistance, a recent lawsuit in a United States federal court demands consideration of a related law — with real-life application — to protect good Samaritans.

The incident that gave rise to the claim occurred last Nov. 20 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Six Muslim religious leaders, or imams, were removed from a domestic US Airways flight after fellow passengers and airline personnel became concerned about what they deemed suspicious behavior.

Witnesses described conduct that suggested something ominous might in fact be in the offing. The imams, the passengers reported, prayed loudly in the open terminal before boarding, sat in different seats on the plane from those assigned, positioned themselves near exits, asked for unneeded seatbelt extensions (which they then placed under their seats) and, most disturbingly, made anti-American comments.

The six were escorted off the plane so security personnel could conduct additional screening to ensure that they represented no threat to flight safety. By the time they were cleared by security, the plane had departed without them.

Four months later, the imams filed their lawsuit against US Airways. Such claims normally are filed just against the airlines for allegedly improper conduct of its personnel. However, this suit went further, listing unknown (“John Doe”) defendants as well. The John Doe defendants are the fellow passengers who voiced concerns to airline employees about the suspect behavior. Once the John Doe defendants’ identities are determined through discovery, the intent is to amend the complaint to name them specifically.

More at nytimes.com

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