I made a suggestion (admittedly half in jest) earlier that the “snake on the plane” could be sued for assault and battery in a personal injury suit. The more I think about it, the more I can think of additional counts that could be (not unreasonably) alleged.

And then it occurred to me to wonder whether or not this is something that people have done. I’m guessing that in some, perhaps most, cases it would be a fruitless quest, but I think that in at least some—such as this one—there are good chances of winning. We have elements of battery, (arguably) of assault, of intentional infliction of emotional distress...and at a stretch, perhaps of wrongful imprisonment...maybe other causes of action.

I found a link (since lost) to a paper suggesting that the “therapeutic benefits” of a civil suit might well make a civil approach, rather than criminal approach, preferable.

Does anyone have experience with/knowledge of a case like this...?