Two recent County Court decisions (Mead v British Airways Plc (Unreported) Manchester County Court, 15 January 2018 and McKendry v British Airways Plc (Unreported) Liverpool County Court, 7 June 2018) have come to identical conclusions that personal injury claims under the Montreal Convention do not engage the EL/PL Pre-action Protocol. The result is that these claims were deemed to fall outside the fixed costs provisions of CPR Part 45.
In summary, DJ Moss and DJ Baldwin (the latter sitting as a Regional Costs Judge) considered that Convention claims were ‘sui generis’ such that they did not arise out of ‘a breach of a statutory or common law duty of care’ for the purposes of the Protocol threshold criteria in para. 1.1(18).
DJ Baldwin also noted that the new Package Travel Protocol (considered in detail here) specifically excluded Athens and Montreal Convention claims, which supported the proposition that such claims were properly excluded from the low value fixed costs regime.
Copies of the judgments can be found on Gordon Exall’s Civil Litigation Brief blog.
In this blog, David Green of 12 King’s Bench Walk considers the recently-reported application for permission to hearing of Lawrence v NCL (Bahamas) Ltd, the Norwegian Jade  EWCA Civ 2222. The case deals with a novel point of construction of the Athens Convention 1974, concerning the liability of a sea carrier for injuries sustained when their passenger is in a tender vessel being taken from ship to shore. Continue reading The Norwegian Jade – Athens Convention, “Carriage”
In Jennings v TUI UK Limited (t/a Thomson Cruises)  EWHC 82 (Admlty) on 13 November 2017 in the High Court of Justice, Admiralty Court, Alex Carington of 12 King’s Bench Walk, instructed by Mark Fanning of Miles Fanning Legal, appeared before the Admiralty Registrar Jervis Kay QC for the Defendant in a case considering the application of the Athens Convention for the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 as amended by the 2002 Protocol (the “Athens Convention“) and the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (the “Package Travel Regulations“).
In particular, the Court gave useful guidance on when “carriage” ended in the context of disembarking from a cruise ship into a modern port terminal: namely, as soon as the passenger stepped off the cruise ship onto a walkway operated by the Port Authority.
This blog post may be considered alongside our recent case study of the Court’s approach to a slipping injury claim brought under the Montreal Convention 1999. Continue reading Slips and Trips: The Athens Convention 1974 and Package Travel Regulations
This blog post is by James Beeton of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
In this short but interesting judgment, Knowles J considered the liability of insurance underwriters in the context of sums paid out by a cruise company following a sickness outbreak on a cruise ship. His judgment emphasises the centrality in disputes of this nature of the contractual relationship between the various parties and the wording of the relevant policy.
This case involved an outbreak of norovirus on a cruise ship in July 2009, which was significant enough that the voyage had to be cut short. The head charterers of the vessel held a policy of insurance underwritten by the Defendant. The Claimant cruise company was named as a co-insured under that policy. The affected passengers were told that they would receive payments from their various tour operators to cover the amount they had paid for the cruise along with other sums. The Claimant agreed to meet those costs and then sought an indemnity against the liabilities it claimed to have incurred as the ‘contracting carrier’ under the Athens Convention 1974. Continue reading Cruise and Maritime Services International Limited v Navigators Underwriting Agency Limited  EWHC 843 (Comm) – Athens Convention, Insurance
This case comment is by Alex Carington of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
The case is a rare example of the Court of Appeal considering proper approaches to assessment of evidence, breach of duty and causation in the context of an outbreak of illness on a cruise ship. Continue reading Swift & Ors v Fred Olsen Cruise Lines  EWCA Civ 785 – Food Poisoning, Athens Convention, Causation