Tuesday 23 January 2018

Case adjourned for woman who claims she suffered psychological damage on Ryanair flight

Ray Managh

A €38,000 damages claim by a passenger on a Ryanair plane that struck the runway on takeoff, was adjourned today for a hearing in the New Year.

Barrister James Peart told Judge Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court that events co-ordinator Roisin Hartshorn, of Coolawinna Park, Ashford, Co Wicklow, was on a Dublin – Stansted flight that suffered a tail-strike on takeoff just over four years ago.

Ms Hartshorn, (30), who featured in media coverage of the incident at the time, claims that shortly after takeoff there had been a sudden loss of cabin pressure and some, but she alleged not all, of the oxygen masks had deployed.

She alleges that she twisted her ankle and had suffered from nausea as a result of being unable to breathe until her oxygen mask was released. She had suffered ongoing anxiety about flying and avoids flying as much as possible. On another flight she had suffered a panic attack and required valium and relaxation therapy.

Mr Peart told the court that under the Montreal Convention, which covers compensation for injuries on flights, a plaintiff could sue for psychological injury providing they could connect it with the injury suffered during the incident at the time.

He had asked for an adjournment to facilitate the provision of a psychologist’s report not currently before the court and to allow further consideration of a transfer of the case to the High Court.

Peter Lennon, of Lennon Heather solicitors for Ryanair, opposed the adjournment. He said it was admitted there was a tail-strike incident which had resulted in a severe jolt. He said Ms Hartshorn was not entitled to recover damages for psychiatric injury.

The hearing is likely to be re-listed for late January.

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