An Irishman has won his compensation claim after an incident in which a flight attendant fumbled and dropped hot tea over his genitals.
Ronald Furlong claimed a flight attendant dropped the beverage while passing it to a passenger during a London-to-Dublin flight in 2012.
Furlong, 33, who had to sit on a temporary seat for the rest of the flight, subsequently brought legal action against the carrier concerned: Ryanair.
The airline had failed to ensure its staff would properly transfer hot liquid with a secure lid, Furlong claimed in court.
As a result, his social, domestic and recreational lifestyle had been “interfered with” following the scald.
Ryanair denied liability. The carrier even alleged Furlong had caused the hot drink to spill on himself by acting in a careless and inattentive manner, the paper said.
The court seems to have been unconvinced by the airline’s argument. Circuit Court President, Justice Raymond Groarke, awarded Furlong EUR 38,000 (AUD 57,550) in compensation.
Generally speaking, scalding by hot liquids is one of the risks of flight – which is why meal and refreshment service is suspended when a plane encounters turbulence. Obviously the risk must be minimised as much as possible. Scalding incidents occasionally happen and it’s up to the courts to decide who is responsible.
A recent colourful court case in Australia which involved the spillage of hot tea on a passenger had a rather different outcome. See: Aussie woman in Emirates hot tea case must pay costs
Written by Peter Needham