Turkish Airlines Spills the Tea, Must Pay Up $78,000
A teenager has been awarded €65,000 (USD $78,000) in damages after a cup of tea spilled on his leg during a flight from Dublin to Istanbul. The cup of tea was knocked out of his hand onto his right thigh by a member of cabin crew. The incident left him with a permanent scar.
Karakaya, who was 13 at the time of the incident, later sued Turkish Airlines through his mother Leeanne Karakaya. The mother told the court she had taken her son to a consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon after the incident. The doctor said Emre had been scalded by the hot tea and that though the wound had healed in three weeks, he would be left with permanent noticeable scarring.
The settlement has now been approved by a High Court judge in Dublin, almost four years later, Irish Times reports.
What’s interesting is that the European Court of Justice has clarified in 2019 that airlines are responsible for any injuries that occur onboard an aircraft under article 17 of the Montreal Convention. The only option of defense for airlines is to prove that a passenger was injured as a result of their own negligence.
The intervention of the ECJ stemmed from an appeal brought by Austrian airline Lauda who argued they weren’t responsible for a burn suffered by a young girl because the accident hadn’t come about from a “hazard typically associated with aviation”. In that case the flight attendant placed the hot drink on the tray table, and it tipped over, causing the girl second-degree burns.