United Airlines Passenger Seeking Compensation After Allegedly Being Stung By Scorpion On Flight

A Canadian man is now seeking compensation from United Airlines after claiming he was stung by a scorpion last week while eating dinner on the flight, ABC News reports.

Richard Bell was a passenger on a United Airlines flight, traveling in business class from Houston to Calgary with his wife, Linda, last Sunday when he felt something fall in his hair from the overhead bin while eating dinner.

Bell stated that when he reached to pick it up, it fell onto his dinner plate and that’s when he realized that it was a scorpion.

When he attempted to grab the scorpion by the tail, it stung the passenger on his hand.


Afterward, the United Airlines passenger flicked the scorpion and it fell on the floor. A flight attendant was able to capture it by using a cup.

Bell stated that at that moment, he got “out of his seat and stepped on it and then the flight attendants threw it in the restroom.”

A nurse, who was traveling on the United Airlines flight, gave Bell a painkiller, Demerol, as a precaution while the flight crew consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground for guidance.

The physician assured the flight crew that the scorpion sting was not a life-threatening matter.

Once the plane landed, border services agents boarded the plane in a bid to inspect the scorpion, not knowing that it had already been discarded.


It is believed that the scorpion was hiding in a guitar belonging to one of the United Airlines passengers when it fell onto Bell’s head and later stung him.

Bell was transported to a hospital where medical staff stated that he should be okay.

A United Airlines spokesperson, Maddie King, stated that they will be “reaching out to the customer to apologize and discuss the matter,” but Bell claims that he has not been contacted.

He added that he “suspect[s] they haven’t reached out to me because they reached out to him, and he probably doesn’t know what the heck they are talking about because he slept through the whole thing.”

The United Airlines have made headlines recently for forcibly dragging a passenger, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American physician David Dao, off the plane because they allegedly were overbooked.


After aviation security officers dragged the passenger off the plane, he suffered a concussion, broken nose, the loss of two front teeth, and injuries to his sinuses. He now has to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Although United’s Chief Executive Oscar Munoz apologized to Dao, his family, and to its customers, the passenger is planning to sue United Airlines, according to Dao’s attorney, Thomas Demetrio.

Demetrio said, “If you’re going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances can it be done with unreasonable force or violence. That’s the law.

“For a long time, airlines—United, in particular—have bullied us…We want respect and we want dignity. That’s it. Not a big deal.”

The attorney added that the lawsuit will be filed in Cook County Circuit Court, and not only are they targeting United Airlines, but the City of Chicago will be targeted as well since the Department of Aviation were involved in removing the passenger off the plane.

Munez added that “the carrier would no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights.”

Bell is now seeking compensation from the United Airlines for his scorpion sting ordeal, and he says that he will accept travel credit.

Since the United Airlines passenger did not receive any life-threatening injuries after being stung by a scorpion, he will not move forward with a lawsuit. Bell said, “It’s just one of those things that happen, right?”

[Featured Image by Flightlevel80/iStock]