A 16-year-old Australian boy has launched a lawsuit against Virgin Australia, claiming to have suffered scalding to his genitals and other areas around his groin when hot coffee was spilled on him during an international flight last year.A Sydney newspaper ran a picture of the boy, an Australian, being treated for burns after the incident. The boy is said to have been flying Virgin Australia from Los Angeles to Sydney when the incident occurred in May 2015.
The spillage is said to have happened shortly after takeoff, when a flight attendant carrying coffee on a tray allegedly dropped coffee onto the boy’s lap. The boy allegedly suffered burns, blisters and scarring to his thighs, groin, genitals and midriff.
“It was excruciating and probably the worst pain I have ever felt,” the boy told the Daily Mail. “I ran to the toilet and Dad immediately started putting cold water on the burns.”
According to a lawsuit filed in the County Court of Victoria, the boy’s father provided medical assistance when flight attendants aboard failed to do so.
Fox News said Virgin Australia confirmed that “an incident did occur on flight VA2 from Los Angeles to Sydney on 3 May 2015.” The airline would not provide any further details on the pending lawsuit.
“Virgin Australia takes the safety and comfort of our passengers extremely seriously, however given this particular matter has not yet been resolved it would not be appropriate to comment any further,” a Virgin Australia spokesperson said in a statement.
According to the publication Travel + Leisure, a woman sued Southwest in 2012 for USD 800,000 after hot tea fell and burned her lap. She was eventually awarded USD 500,000 in punitive damages, the publication said.
Written by Peter Needham