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Fashion model wins in-flight hot soup groin spill payout

January 29, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An airline and one of its flight attendants have been ordered jointly to pay AUD 127,433 to a fashion model for accidentally spilling hot soup over her in flight, inflicting “second and third-degree burns from her lower belly to her thigh and private parts”.

The victim was flying Asiana Airlines business class from Seoul to Paris on 17 March 2014 when the flight attendant spilled instant noodle soup over her, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

The model, whose surname is Chang, filed suit against the airline the following year, demanding about KRW 2 million (AUD 2.3 million) in damages.

Chang claimed that the flight wasn’t equipped with medical supplies to deal with the burns, leaving her to rely on ointment, a bag of ice and a few Tylenol pain-relief tablets on the long flight to Paris.

Chang claimed that having a normal married life would present challenges because the burns on her private parts would pose potential problems for pregnancy and delivery, Singapore’s Straits Times reported.

Even if she underwent skin graft surgeries for a decade, recovery would be difficult, Chang contended.

In its defence, Asiana claimed Chang knocked the tray carrying the noodle soup. The airline said it provided emergency treatment in accordance with instructions from a doctor on the flight.

Last week, the Seoul Eastern District Court ruled in Chang’s favour and ordered the airline and flight attendant to jointly pay the plaintiff damages of KWN 109.6 million (AUD 127,433).

Reports of the case did not disclose how the damages payment would be split between the airline and the flight attendant, or whether the flight attendant would have to stump up her share out of her own money. If the flight attendant had to pay out of her own funds, the precedent might deter a lot of others from taking up the job.

Written by Peter Needham

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