A US actor is suing American Airlines and Sky West after one of his pinky fingers allegedly got stuck in a first class armrest for almost an hour in September.

Stephen Keys filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 5. Ironically, he once played flight engineer Riggs alongside Snoop Dogg in the 2004 comedy Soul Plane - and the painful incident sounds like it could be straight out of the film.

Keys also appeared in a number of television shows, including Big Time Rush, My Name is Earl, How I Met Your Mother and Ugly Betty.

According to his lawsuit, Keys' finger became trapped in a small hole under the right armrest, after he raised it to reach the seatbelt strap on a flight from Reno to Los Angeles.

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He is claiming "severe emotional distress and weeks of pain", according to NBC and claims to have been unable to drive or play with his children since the incident

"The spring mechanism embedded inside of this hole in the armrest applied intense pressure to plaintiff's finger, immediately inflicting injury, swelling and pain," the lawsuit alleges.

Keys then repeatedly attempted to free himself, while trying to remain composed.

"By this time, dozens of passengers became aware of Mr. Keys' perilous condition, causing his dire situation to become a humiliating public spectacle," it continues.

"By the end of it all, he remained entrapped in this nightmarish condition, suffering for nearly an hour."

Actor Stephen Keys appeared in Soul Plane alongside Snoop Dogg as well as numerous television shows. Photo / Getty Images
Actor Stephen Keys appeared in Soul Plane alongside Snoop Dogg as well as numerous television shows. Photo / Getty Images

Flight staff and members of a fire department rescue team were unable to free Keys finger from the seat and an airline mechanic eventually had to disassemble the armrest.

"The comfort and safety of our passengers is our first priority," SkyWest said in a statement to NBC. "We worked with our partner American to reach out to Mr. Keys regarding his bruised finger and look forward to swiftly resolving this matter. Due to the ongoing litigation, we cannot comment further."

Sky West has a partnership agreement with American Airlines.