Compensation

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

U.S. Court: mental anguish compensable under Montreal Convention if it results from an accident that also caused bodily injury

Plaintiff Jane Doe and her eleven-year-old daughter flew aboard Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Chicago. When she stuck her hand into the seat pocket in front of her, she was unexpectedly pricked by a hypodermic needle that lay hidden within. The needle drew blood from her finger.  Doe was prescribed medication for possible exposure to hepatitis, tetanus, and HIV, and she underwent several rounds of testing over the following year. Thankfully for Doe, all the tests came back negative.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

CJEU clarifies burden of proof for timely information on flight cancellation

In case of cancellation of a flight, according to Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 the carrier shall be exempt from the obligation to pay compensation if the passengers were informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure.

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CJEU: bird strikes qualify as "extraordinary circumstances"

In a highly anticipated judgement, the CJEU held  today that a collision between an aircraft and a bird, as well as any damage caused by that collision, are not intrinsically linked to the operating system of the aircraft, with the result that such a collision is not by  its nature or origin inherent in the  normal exercise of the activity  of the air carrier concerned and  is outside its actual control.  Accordingly,  a collision between an  aircraft and a bird is an extraordinary circumstance within the meaning of the regulation.

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CJEU: a flight during which an unscheduled stopover took place cannot be regarded as cancelled

On Oct. 5, 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) provided another clarification regarding the interpretation of Reg. (EC) No. 261/2004. The case involved an Bulgarian Air Charter flight from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Dresden (Germany). The flight departed as scheduled but made an unscheduled stopover in Prague which caused a delay in arrvial at Dresden of  2 hours and 20 minutes.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

CJEU Advocate General: bird strikes do not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances'

In an opinion delivered on July 28, 2016, CJEU Advocate General Bot has concluded that bird strikes do not fall within the extraordinary circumstances defence currently available to air carriers according to Article 5 para 3 of Reg. (EC) 261/2004. In the Advocate General's opinion, such incidents are inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of an air carrier and therefore not 'extraordinary'. Although an opinion of an Advocate Genrral is not binding to the Court but only advisory in nature, the judges in most cases follow the recommedations expressed therein.

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CJEU Advocate General: National Enforcement Body must not take enforcement measures to pursue claims of individual air passengers

Upon reference for preliminary ruling lodged by the Dutch Raad van State (State Council), the Advocate General of the CJEU has delivered an opinion according to which Article 16 of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004 only entrusts the National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) with the task to secure general compliance with the Regulation but not to pursue individual claims. Individual claims should rather be pursued before the courts. A concurrent competence of courts and national Enforcment Bodies could lead to different interpretations of the Regulation and cause legal uncertainty.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Germany: two new Supreme Court decisions on air passenger rights

On March 17, 2015 the German Supreme Court (BGH) has passed two judgements with regard to Regulation (EC) 216/2004.

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CJEU provides another clarification of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation (EC) 216/2004

In its judgement of today, the Court of the European Union (CJEU) held that the ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to which passengers on a flight have been subject, corresponds to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German Supreme Court: general strike or breakdown of the radar system qualify as "extraordinary circumstances"

The German Supreme Court (BGH) recently decided two cases related to flight delays.

In the first case, the plaintiff's flight from Frankfurt/Main to Menorca was delayed more than 3 hrs because of a general strike in Greece which affected the previous circulation of the aircraft. The return flight to Frankfurt was also delayed more than 3 hrs because of a breakdown of the radar system in the Greek airspace which, again, delayed the arrival of the aircraft from a previous circulation.

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More references for CJEU prelimiary ruling on Air Passenger Rights Regulation lodged by German courts

With regard to Reg. EC No 261/2004 (" Air Passenger Rights Regulation") the follwowing issues have recently been referred to the CJEU by German courts:

1. Reference of Feb. 4, 2014 by Landgericht Hannover  (C-79/14 - TUIfly):

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