Sunday 21 January 2018

Passenger sues Ryanair over take-off tail strike

Ray Managh

A €38,000 damages claim by a passenger on a Ryanair plane that struck the runway on take-off was adjourned to 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 take-off just over four years ago.

Ms Hartshorn (30), who featured in media coverage of the incident at the time, claims that shortly after take-off 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.

He had asked for an adjournment to facilitate the provision of a psychologist's report to 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.

Irish Independent

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