Follow-up: Forced to sit in the toilet stinks, but does it deserve $2 million?

I honestly feel bad for Gokhan Mutlu, the New York man at the center of a…let’s say certain kind of storm, having been forced, he says, to sit in the toilet on a JetBlue flight from California to New York after getting bumped from his seat by an off-duty flight attendant.

It’s been all over the blogs in recent days (Grant covered it for us). As I see it, there was very little he could have done, having been told — rather forcefully, according to some reports — to go “hang out” in the john by what appears to be the plane’s rather militant captain. These days, how much can you really question flight crew members, especially the captain? Could he have refused on the grounds that, well, no one should be made to ride in the toilet? Could he have voiced his objections (no doubt he did a little)? Perhaps…but then again, all you need is to be seen as a little bit disruptive and before you know it, the captain could have the plane on the ground and you in an orange jumpsuit for endangering the flight.

But that’s not really my point. My point, which is really a question, is this: Why $2 million? Although I am on Mutlu’s side, for what that it’s worth, I’m wondering whether his suing JetBlue for $2 million doesn’t seem a tad, well, greedy, like he saw an opportunity (no doubt goaded by some lawyer) for a quick pay day and took it.

Litigation is America’s national pastime, I know, but each time I read about some begrudged soul rushing to the court room I shake my head, not so much at the rapid response lawsuit but at the damages sought, which can so often seem to outweigh the wrong a person endured. I’m not talking class actions against Big Tobacco here, but more of the fall in the supermarket, sue for $10 million for “mental anguish” type suits.

No question Mutlu was wronged and humiliated, but what price tag should such degradation carry? Why not something like a refund, a free flight every month for a year and a very public apology from JetBlue? Why not said apology and refund, and $10,000 for his trouble?

What do you think? Is this incident worth a $2 million lawsuit?