early rough draft; Gary Neinstein of Neinstein and Associates (law firm handling this case)

Air Canada acted inconsistently. For example, after Air Canada damaged my system, which caused me to need special assistance, Air Canada provided special assistance to board me early onto the aircraft, but then when all the other passengers were on board, Air Canada came to ask me to get off the aircraft.


On the flight to St. John's there were no headphones because Air Canada forgot to put them on the plane. We've been on other flights where they forgot to put food on the plane and had to cancel meals. While these may not be a major concern, it now appears Air Canada is forgetting bandages in their first aid kit. What's next? Forgetting to fill up with fuel?

Air Canada failed to provide adequate first aid on the airpline (return flight); initial request for bandages denied (on the basis that opening the first aid kit would generate paperwork), then finally a triangular piece of cloth was provided, but this was not a suitable bandage for use in stopping the bleeding that arose from removal of materials from my body.

Damages arising from matters including, but not necessarily limited to, negligence with regard to a Air Canada.

Air Canada officials seemed more concerned with protocol than security. For example, being strip searched in a cluttered office that's also used as a storage room, cluttered with two-way radios, weapons, sharp knives, and various other equipment, and then being left alone in that room for a long period of time after the strip search, is an example of blind obedience to protocol that provides zero or negative actual security.

After I was stripped down in the presence of three people (including two women who I believe were Air Canada employees) I was allowed to put some items back on, and then left alone in the strip search and cluttered storage room for a long period of time. The fact that I was not searched again when these persons returned, suggests that they were more concerned with protocol, or possibly simply the act of humiliation and destruction of property, than security. The strip aftermath (handling of the items by Air Canada, and loss of some of the items) resulted in costly damage to components in my computer vision system and associated clothing based computer system, but provided zero or negative increase in security. There is also extensive cost in labour in assembling the new components, the cost of calibration of the new system, or many of the other costs, arising from Air Canada's handling of these items.

Additionally, when it came time for Air Canada to pack up the items removed from my body, scattered about the floor and on various other surfaces in the strip search/storage room, it was uncertain which items were clutter from the storage room and which items were from my body.

When I explained to the top person present (an Air Canada employee), that I had good documentation about my computer vision system, including two books I wrote that I also had with me describing the system (Intelligent Image Processing by John Wiley and Sons, as well as CYBORG by Randomhouse) she said "these girls know nothing about..." (pointing to all the other Air Canada employees present). In previous travel, showing documentation has added to the credibililty, even if that documentation is not completely understood. I also gave Air Canada employees an oppurtunity to call various colleagues and medical professionals, both within our Global eHealth Project (Toronto General Hospital) and within our engineering lab (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) as well as internationally. I am well known in these various communities, and I called these various individuals who spoke with the highest level people available at the air port, all of these highest level poeple being Air Canada employees.

I might add that if "these girls know nothing about..." this technology, then perhaps they are also not qualified to serve as members of a strip search committee in review of said technology. It was the Air Canada employees who were directing the strip search.

In previous situations, as a security check, a dog is provided to sniff my body, or a vacuum is provided to collect air therefrom, for analysis. However, I was told by Air Canada staff that there were no dogs or air analyzers at this airport. Especiallly in the absence thereof, there should be provided at least one person who has a sufficient degree of common sense to handle such a situation.

INITIAL DAMAGE WITH DENIED BOARDING: Damage was inflicted on me as a passenger, by Air Canada, on occasions that Air Canada employees reached under my clothing and interfered with connections to my body. On days prior to the day of the strip search, at least three Air Canada employees reached underneath my clothing and pulled on cables connected to delicate instrumentation such as my heart monitor.

Because of this damage, inflicted by Air Canada staff, I was not functioning normally beyond Monday night that I was there. Accordingly, Air Canada was negligent in providing special assistance that was made necessary by their damage to me.

Said special assistance in provision of food, lodging, transporation, and proper notification to the place of lodging, of the aforementioned special needs that I required as a result of said damage, was only partial, and was inadequate.

LATER DAMAGE WITH ALLOWED BOARDING: Damage inflicted to me, and to apparatus upon which I have a dependence and adaptation to, that the Air Canada mandated take place as a condition of boarding, followed by acceptance in boarding, made necessary the notification of medical authorities, and a receiving party (my wife) of the time and locatin in the receiving airport when and where I would arrive. Air Canada was negligent in this regard.

Additionally, Air Canada was negligent in providing special assistance in helping me navigate past various debris such as sheet metal, cylindrical rolling clutter such as fire extinguishers, slippery materials such as oil and grease, construction materials and equipment such as nailguns, boxes of 22 calibre bullets, loose propane tanks on floors that are not secured to walls, and other materials that could create a slip and fall hazard or explosion hazard while walking to board a flight. Air Canada was notified of these special needs, and it should have been evident to Air Canada that there are dangers involved in walking through this particular airport, but Air Canada failed to provide sufficient assistance in navigating through this dangerous environment.

I fell or lost footing on various occasions in the airport, and one Air Canada employee who escorted me to security at one time informed me I had fallen on what she described as loose propane cylinders. Since I fell, on this occasion, while I was being escorted by an Air Canada employee, that particular employee was negligent.

Chronology of events:

Saturday, February 16th, 2002, 1:05pm, Professor Steve Mann boarded Air Canada flight 3636 to serve as the external examiner for a PhD thesis at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Mann's research is well known, as documented, for example, in a motion picture film about his life and accomplishments, (the 35mm feature length motion picture film CYBERMAN, rated best film in the Toronto International Film Festival by Toronto Life, and "the most important Canadian film this year" by Peter Wintonick, P.O.V.). A second motion picture film describing his work on computerized eyeglasses for the visually impaired is forthcoming with the National Film Board. He also has extensive documentation about the computer vision system he wears, including two books (Intelligent Image Processing, published by John Wiley and Sons, and CYBORG, published by Randomhouse Doubleday) he has written, which he was carrying with him on the flight.

He provided advance notice that he wears a computer vision system, along with a detailed description of his system and special needs needs, and he requested that this information be included in Air Canada's file with the ticket booking. He was told to have a doctor's note which he did. He had verified that Air Canada has this information in his ticket booking and was told by Air Canada that this information would show up in his file upon boarding and upon returning. Air Canada subsequently lost this information from his file, which precipitated a series of unfortunate events thereafter. HAD AIR CANADA NOT LOST THIS INFORMATION, THESE UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS WOULD NOT LIKELY HAVE TAKEN PLACE.

Dr. Mann experienced no problems boarding with his computer vision system, but upon attempting to return home to Toronto, he was denied boarding on his return flight, Monday, February 18th, 6:25pm, flight number 141, because, according to Air Canada, the aforementioned doctor's note was not on hospital letterhead. He was informed, by Air Canada, that a doctor's note on hospital letterhead would be sufficient for boarding the next flight (the next day). As a result of Air Canada's change in requirements, his computer vision system was partially damaged during the security search. Mann advised the Air Canada clerk to advise the hotel of his special needs (arising from the aforementioned damage).

Air Canada covered the cost of his hotel that evening, but Air Canada failed to notify the hotel of his special needs arising from the aforementioned damage, which also resulted in his tripping and falling.

It should also be noted that during most of these interactions, Air Canada employees refused to identify themselves, and refused to put any of their requirements in writing, or to provide any written documentation of their requirements.

The next day (Tues. Feb. 19th) when Dr. Mann arrived at the airport, having complied with Air Canada's requirement of providing a doctor's note on hospital letterhead, he was denied passage, and the highest authority present, Neil Campbell, told Mann that he would have to run his clothing based computer system through the X-ray machine, but could keep on his eyeglasses and electrodes. Dr. Mann was promised by Neil Campbell that his eyeglasses and electrodes on his body would never need to be removed.

Subsequently, Dr. Mann was informed that he would no longer need to run his wearable computer through the X-ray machine, provided that he turn the computer off and then on again. He informed Air Canada staff that such power-cycling of the machine might cause loss of data (and possible adverse health effects), and that Mann might need special assistance after the inspection involving a shutdown of the computer system. Air Canada staff insisted on the shutdown and restarting of the wearable computer system, but then failed to follow through on their promise that such shutdown and restarting would suffice to allow Dr. Mann to board the aircraft. Air Canada also failed to provide the special assistance that was made necessary by their damage to his system by their inspection. Air Canada staff appeared then to have changed their minds back to the requirement of running the wearable computer through the X-ray machine.

Additionally, Air Canada lost the notification listed on his travel file, that indicated that Mann wears a computer vision system, and that provided a detailed description of his system.

Arising, at least in part, from Air Canada's negligence, Mann slipped and fell on construction debris piled up in the main walkway of the airport. He suffered a concussion, loss of memory, dizziness, and nausea. The incident was witnessed and documented.

Mann was hospitalized for several days, and was seen by several doctors in four different hospitals in connection with the Air Canada incidents.

Presently the extent of his brain damage is still being determined, pending analysis of his recent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.

However, some of his doctors have indicated that restoration of the computer systems is necessary to prevent further unadaptation (brain damage), and also have suggested that it will be impossible to determine the actual extent of the brain damage until the system can be restored to the normal operating conditions. Therefore, quick restoration of all system functions is necessary to increase the chances of a full recovery.

In summary thus far, Air Canada continually changed the terms of boarding from:
1. note from doctor,
2. note from doctor on hospital letterhead, would be sufficient; after Mann provided this, Air Canada changed its requirement to:
3. remove wearable computer portion of apparatus from body and run through X-ray.
4. No longer need to run wearable computer portion through X-ray. Only need to power cycle system, which Mann advised would cause data loss, but Air Canada employees indicated this would be a necessary and sufficient condition upon which to board the aircraft. Mann shut the system off anyway causing a biofeedback loop to be broken. System only partially recoved from this, and loop was not re-entrant (health risk).
5. Air Canada returns to requirement (3): cpu (main computer) must be xrayed but neither eyeglasses nor electrodes on body would not need to be removed or x-rayed.
6. Finally (the next day, Wed. Feb. 20) Air Canada insisted Mann must take everything off. Mann was stripped down to underwear in a public area, where wiring to his electrodes was cut off, so that his clothing and wearable clothing-based computer system could be run through X-ray. At this point his eyeglasses and electrodes were still on his body in accordance with Air Canada's requirement number 5 above. However, Mann was subsequently removed to a private room by an individual wearing white gloves who asked him to remove the eyeglasses and electrodes and examined all skin surfaces upon Mann's body where any wiring was present. The person who asked Mann to remove these items also called in another person and she appeared to be an Air Canada employee who also brought one of her co-workers into the strip search room. Both of these women appeared to be Air Canada employees, and appeared to be directing the terms of the strip search with regard to which items would be removed from Mann's body, and which items he would be allowed to carry on board the aircraft, and which items would need to be checked. Mann informed these 3 persons that the electrodes should not be removed from his body, so that their exact positions could remain known, but Air Canada insisted that the items be removed. After Mann already cut the wires to electrodes on his body, so that their position could be remembered, Air Canada insisted that the electrodes be taken off, even though Air Canada was advised of possible life threatening loss of placement information and calibration.

Air Canada promised to provide several blankets at the immediate time that Mann's clothing and wearable computer systems were removed. Mann advised Air Canada of his slow metabolism and adverse effects of removal of the apparatus which produces heat and regulates his body temperature, but Air Canada failed to provide a sufficient number of blankets until some time after Mann was boarded on the aircraft.

Mann also advised that the eyeglasses should not be packed. Initially Air Canada agreed to handle the eyeglasses very carefully and keep them in the heated portion of the cabin, but later Air Canada checked these and other items as checked luggage. Air Canada employees did not provide any receipts or documentation or claim checks for these items, but said they would bring claim checks to Mann in a few minutes. Air Canada staff also promised to notify Mann's wife and doctor by telephone immediately, as to his expected time of arrival in Toronto, and to notify his wife to meet him at the airport and bring him to his doctor.

At this point Mann was in ill health, and was taken onboard the aircraft by wheelchair. As it turned out, he did not receive claim checks for the items removed from his body until after he got off the aircraft in Toronto. One package of items was missing and many of the other items were destroyed. Air Canada also failed to notify his wife to meet him at the airport. Air Canada also failed to notify his doctor that he would require medical assistance upon arrival in Toronto. Air Canada's negligence resulted in delayed medical attention upon his arrival, and in his not being able to be seen by his regular doctor who is familiar with his history.

Items lost or destroyed by Air Canada:

misc. cables missing, some specialized cables worth $380 U.S. each, total
  approx. $1500.
WinTV USB missing, approx. $200.
CPU hard drive making grinding noises at startup, replacement cost approx. $500.
data recovery costs, estimated at approx. $3500.
CPU and subsystems operate intermittently, destroyed, erratic,
no response to input, approx. replacement cost $5000.
damage to eyeglasses that Neil Campbell had promised would not need to
be removed, but for which removal was later made a requirement of boarding:
Was able to read X80 eye chart prior to leaving from Toronto,
now unable to read even X10 (largest print), can read only first 3 letters
of screen.
Damage to organic light sources, replacement cost approx. $27000.
Image quality from acquisition portion of eyeglasses very dark and grainy,
rendering system useless.  Requires replacement of acquisition portion,
cost approx. $3000.
Wearable image projector missing, approx. $5000
Procomp conversion sensor box with fiber optic input $7000
clothing items missing, total value approx. $500
electrode set missing, approx. value $1000
twiddler2 damaged beyond repair, replacement cost approx. $300.
(absence and damage to the above items witnessed by Professor
Mann's support crew members James Fung, Corey Manders, Felix Tang,
and Chris Aimone).
swiss cutters, other misc tools, etc., missing, approx. value $300
brainwave monitor missing, approx. value $1000
heart monitor instrumentation missing, approx. value $1000

This initial damage totals approx. $56,800

Thurs. 2002, Feb. 21, 2:50pm, some more of the items arrived (late), and
were delivered by Air Canada in the presence of five witnesses:
electric razor broken; 2 batteries for computer vision system damaged
(substantial reduction in output voltage); battery charger dead on arrival;
witnessed by: Corey Manders, Ashraf Asfour, Andrej Marjan, Brandon Niblett,
and James Meier.
Need replacement of 2 specialized custom design battery packs: 2* $300 = $600.
need replacement of mascot charger = $250;
subtotal for battery packs and charging system: $850

Note that some items are still missing, and have still not come back from Air Canada.

Damage to chest area requiring Dermabond to attach broken skin (scar tissue from stitches would inhibit attachment of electrodes), Johnson and Johnson Dermabond skin adhesive 12 pack $348

Transportation to Dr. Wong, other hospital, St. Michael's emergency, Dr. Zahn, Dr. Sharp, MRI facililty, etc., approx. $200

Additional manufacturing, machining, calibration, labour, etc., costs: ___

Total cost in order to restore computer vision system, etc., property damages: $119,698