Judge dismisses $1m Aer Lingus stolen ring case
Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30
Aer Lingus has won its court battle with a woman who sued the airline for $1m (€899,000) after her engagement ring and other valuables were allegedly stolen from her luggage.
A court in the US has dismissed a lawsuit taken against the airline by Dutch floral designer Sade Coppens.
The mother-of-three had sued Aer Lingus for "emotional trauma and distress" after a bag went missing following a transatlantic flight from New York to Amsterdam via Dublin last summer.
Lawyers for Aer Lingus had sought to have the case thrown out on the basis Ms Coppens had already accepted a cheque for $1,682 (€1,513) as "full and final settlement", which is the maximum compensation allowable under the Montreal Convention - a set of international rules governing the compensation of airline passengers.
In his ruling, Judge Joseph Bianco accepted the findings of a magistrate judge, Kathleen Tomlinson, who said she was not persuaded by Ms Coppens's argument that the convention's compensation cap should not apply.
She also found that claims originating from the sentimental value of lost property and the disruption of a family holiday were not actionable under the convention. Although the value of items allegedly stolen was around €24,000, Ms Coppen claimed some of them were "priceless" and "irreplaceable". The lost items included the engagement ring, photographic equipment and SD cards with images of her children.
Ms Coppens was also denied the opportunity to re-plead her case.