Success in claim under the Montreal Convention

Articles, News | Fri 23rd Jul, 2021

Max Melsa successfully represented the Claimant, who suffered a serious fall when embarking from Bristol Airport.

The claim was brought under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention 1999, which applies in cases where injury is sustained either on board an aircraft or in the course of any operations of embarking or disembarking .

It was successfully argued firstly that the Claimant’s fall, which occurred when in a corridor whilst on the way to the departure gate, was within the “departure routine” and therefore part of the process of embarkation, as per Phillips v Air New Zealand [2002] EWHC 800. 

It was then argued that the fall could be properly described as an “accident” within the framework of the Convention, given that the food substance that caused the Claimant to fall was an “unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger”, distinguishing the claim from the leading case of Barclay v British Airways [2008] EWCA Civ 1419.

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