CJEU rules on Montreal Convention coffee spillage case

In 2015, GN, a six-year-old child, was travelling on board an aircraft between Mallorca  and Vienna. Her father, who was sitting next to her, was served a cup of hot coffee which, when it was placed on the tray table in front him, tipped over onto his right thigh and onto GN’s chest, causing her second-degree burns. It could not be established precisely why the cup of coffee overturned.

The Austrian Supreme Court referred to the CJEU the question of whether or not this constituted an “accident” for the purposes of art. 17 of the Montreal Convention (to which the EU is a signatory). In Case C-532/18 GN v ZU, the CJEU determined that it was. Continue reading “CJEU rules on Montreal Convention coffee spillage case”

An unusual Montreal Convention case: failure to provide water to passenger

In this blog post, Christopher Fleming of 12 King’s Bench Walk considers the recent widely reported decision of Di Falco v Emirates (No 2) [2019] VSC 654 (15 October 2019) (available here) in which the Supreme Court of Victoria found that injuries caused by an airline’s failure to provide a passenger with water when requested did not constitute an “accident” under the Montreal Convention 1999.

The case is of particular interest because of certain significant differences in the Supreme Court’s approach to that of the Court of Appeal and House of Lords in Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel Group Litigation [2005] UKHL 72. This blog suggests that the court reached the right result, but not quite by the right route. Continue reading “An unusual Montreal Convention case: failure to provide water to passenger”

Slips, trips, and the Montreal Convention – what’s the position?

This blog post is by Max Archer and James Beeton of 12 King’s Bench Walk.

In Labbadia v Alitalia (Societa Aerea Italiana S.p.A) [2019] EWHC 2103, Margaret Obi, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, ruled on whether a slipping incident that took place as the Claimant disembarked from the Defendant’s flight was an ‘accident’ within the meaning of art. 17 of the Montreal Convention 1999.

The case provides a useful starting point for analysis of the particular issues associated with slipping and tripping cases under the Convention. These issues are considered in this blog post. Continue reading “Slips, trips, and the Montreal Convention – what’s the position?”

The Montreal Convention and “Accidents”

In the recent case of Prosser v British Airways Plc [2018] EW Misc B13 (CC), DJ Andrew Barcello considered an unusual claim under art. 17 of the Montreal Convention (and one which has generated publicity in the press). In summary, the claimant said that he had suffered personal injuries as a result of being forced to sit at an awkward angle over the course of a long-haul flight by a very large passenger “encroaching” into his seating area.

This blog post sets out the law on “accidents” under the Convention and looks at how this odd case may fit into the liability framework provided by the authorities.

Continue reading “The Montreal Convention and “Accidents””

Montreal Convention Claims: Fixed Costs Do Not Apply

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.

Slips and Trips under the Montreal Convention 1999 – a recent example

In Anderson v British Airways (Unreported) 7 December 2017, Bury St Edmunds County Court, Aliyah Akram of 12 King’s Bench Walk, instructed by Jaime Padron of Slater & Gordon, appeared for the claimant in a case considering the application of Article 17 of the Montreal Convention 1999.

Mr Anderson was a passenger on a British Airways flight from Cairo to London Heathrow.  As he was disembarking via an airbridge he slipped and fell to the floor.  He alleged that his fall had been caused by a small puddle of water on the floor.

Mr Anderson brought his claim under Article 17 of the Convention, which provides that:

“The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.”

British Airways denied that the floor had been wet and argued that, even if it had been, Mr Anderson had not suffered an accident within the meaning of the Convention. Continue reading “Slips and Trips under the Montreal Convention 1999 – a recent example”

Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd v Casey [2017] NSWCA 32 – Montreal Convention, Psychiatric Injury


In this blog post, Max Archer of 12 King’s Bench Walk considers the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales in Pel-Air Aviation Pty v Casey, a case that has important ramifications for cases involving a psychiatric injury brought under the Montreal Convention. Max previously considered in detail the issues that arise in claims in this area in a previous blog post here. Continue reading “Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd v Casey [2017] NSWCA 32 – Montreal Convention, Psychiatric Injury”