Saturday 10 December 2016

Aer Lingus sued over second incident of child 'scalding'

Published 31/12/2015 | 02:30

Aer Lingus. Photo: PA
Aer Lingus. Photo: PA

Aer Lingus has been sued in the US for negligence for the second time in just six months over allegations a child suffered burns on a transatlantic flight.

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The latest case involves an infant boy who it is claimed was scalded by hot water on a transatlantic flight.

The child, who is not being named for legal reasons, is suing the national flag carrier through its mother.

Legal papers filed with a court in New York show the airline has entered "settlement discussions" in a bid to resolve the complaint.

Lawyers representing Aer Lingus are also involved in a mediation process with the parents of another child in Florida, who claim she was badly burned by hot tea during a flight from Dublin to Orlando last July.

The latest case to hit the US courts predates that incident by over a year.

According to a legal filing by the infant's mother, the alleged scalding incident occurred on a flight between Dublin and John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on June 30, 2014.

However, the lawsuit against the airline was only initiated recently. Minimal details were given of the alleged incident.

In a statement of complaint, the boy's mother claimed "he was injured as the result of scalding hot liquid".

"As a result of said accident, [the] plaintiff's infant was deprived of his enjoyment of life, pursuits and interests and in the future shall continue to be deprived of same," the complaint alleged.

The airline has denied any liability. It also denies that the incident was caused by any negligence on the part of its staff.

Its lawyers also said that if there was a liability, this would be limited to a sum of around €144,000 under the Montreal Convention, a treaty covering damages for victims of incidents on airlines.

The boy's medical records have been sought by the airline ahead of a settlement conference scheduled for early in January.

Last July, Aer Lingus was hit with a claim for over $75,000 (€69,000) in damages after the parents of a 10-year-old girl alleged she suffered disfigurement and permanent scarring following an incident on a flight from Dublin to Orlando.

It was claimed in court papers that there was a reasonable fear the girl could develop future physical and medical problems and have to undergo plastic surgery.

Aer Lingus also denied liability in that case, but it has entered a mediation process.

Irish Independent

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