A Virgin Australia pilot is suing the airline for almost $1 million, claiming he hurt his back hoisting a flight bag stuffed with 40 pounds of charts and manuals. David Kloster, 57, says it never would have happened if the airline had given him an iPad instead. In a filing with the Queensland Supreme Court, Kloster said the airline had an obligation to provide him (and presumably other pilots) with an alternative to lugging around the information he needed to do his job. "The defendant (Virgin Australia) exposed the plaintiff (Mr. Kloster) to a risk of injury which could have been avoided by the exercise of reasonable care," court documents said. "(Virgin Australia) failed to have in place a system of work whereby charts and rules could have been left on board its aircraft or kept electronically on an iPad."
Virgin Australia has not formally responded to the claim but issued a statement saying it takes protection of the health and safety of its employees seriously. It's also planning to switch to iPads for document storage this year. Kloster was taking the airline shuttle bus to work on Dec. 29, 2009, when the mishap occurred. It laid him up for much of 2010 and it appears he hasn't been able to return to work based on the claim, which includes more than $800,000 (Australian dollars) for loss of future earnings.