Thursday 27 October 2016

Aer Lingus settlement for girl (10) burnt by tea kept secret

Public Affairs Editor

Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30

Aer Lingus. Pic: Depositphotos
Aer Lingus. Pic: Depositphotos

Aer Lingus has agreed a secret settlement with the family of a young girl who suffered burns when hot liquid spilled on her during a flight.

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A court in Florida has been told the parents of the child wish to keep details of the settlement out of the public domain and the airline has not voiced any objection to the move.

The development comes just weeks after a separate child-scalding lawsuit in New York was settled after the national flag carrier agreed to pay $700,000 (€627,000) to the victim.

Details of the Florida case are outlined in court papers seen by the Irish Independent.

It involved a then-10-year-old girl who is alleged to have suffered disfigurement and permanent scarring after tea spilled in her lap during a flight from Dublin to Orlando last July. The girl was described in court documents as "a successful amateur competitive surfer".

Court papers show her parents have applied to have a motion for approval of the settlement sealed and any hearing transcript withheld from the public.


A ruling on the request is being sought in the interest of the child's privacy, lawyers for the parents say. They have argued that while the case involves issues of public concern, the settlement information does not.

The legal papers say Aer Lingus is not opposing the application. The settlement was reached following a number of mediation conferences between both sides.

Damages in excess of $75,000 (€66,500) were sought in the initial claim made by the parents, but there have been no indications what the settlement agreement involves.

The parents claimed the girl experienced pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish and embarrassment.

They said there was a reasonable fear the girl could develop future physical and medical problems and have to undergo plastic surgery.

It was claimed her activities were limited and her ability to enjoy life impaired. The lawsuit said she may also require medical care and treatment into the future.

The case centred around an incident where a flight attendant placed a cup of tea in a cup holder on the girl's tray which later spilled into her lap causing "severe burns to her upper thighs and lower torso".

It was claimed Aer Lingus failed to serve the tea at a safe temperature.

Irish Independent

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