US court dismisses ‘nut-rage’ lawsuit

January 15, 2016
(Yonhap file)

Heather Cho (Yonhap file)

By Jhoo Dong-chan

A New York court has dismissed a suit filed by “nut rage” incident victim Park Chang-jin against former Korean Air heiress and Executive Vice President Heather Cho (Korean name – Cho Hyun-ah), sources said Friday.

Previously, the same court dismissed a case brought by Kim Do-hee, a junior flight attendant over the incident.

Claiming that he suffered from a severe physical and mental breakdown after the incident, Park filed a suit with the Queens County Supreme Court in New York against Cho in July.

The written decision for the dismissal was not disclosed but experts said it was likely to follow the precedent of Kim who also sued Cho on the same charges last March.

In Kim’s case, Robert L. Nahman, a judge in charge on the U.S. Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens, reportedly said upon the dismissal last month that it would be better if a Korean court dealt with the case because the plaintiff, the defendants and witnesses reside in Korea and all evidence is in Korea as well.

A series of the dismissals from the U.S court seemed to reflect Cho’s repeated requests insisting the New York court dismiss the suit so that she can stand trial in Korea.

Cho offered some 100 million won ($82,433) to Park and Kim through a Korean court to settle the case during her trial last year. But neither took the money and filed separate lawsuits in the U.S. instead.

Both Kim and Park reportedly demanded larger compensation through the U.S. judicial system for verbal and physical abuse from Cho who was dissatisfied with the way Kim served her macadamia nuts on a Korean Air flight taxiing at New York’s JFK International Airport in December 2014.

According to reports, Park has extended his paid sick leave to Jan. 7.

Kim has also been on unpaid sick leave which will end on March 18 after using 90 days of paid sick leave last year.