ECJ Advocate General Mazák: liability limits of Montreal Convention cover both, non-material and material damage

Mr. Walz’ checked suitcase was lost on 4 June 2007 during a flight from Barcelona to Porto operated by Clickair. Mr Walz claimed damages of EUR 3 200: EUR 2 700 for the value of the lost baggage and EUR 500 for non-material damage resulting from that loss. Clickair challenged the amount of the damages claimed because it exceeded the limit for liability for lost baggage laid down by Article 22.2 Montreal Convention.The referring court (Juzgado de lo Mercantil No 4 de Barcelona) observed that the Montreal Convention did not draw any distinction according to the type of damage to which the carrier’s liability relates, and took the view that the limitation on the carrier’s liability should cover both non-material and material damage. However, it indicated that a number of interpretations of Article 22.2 of the Montreal Convention were possible.In his opinion delivered on 26 January 2010, Advocate General Mazák proposed that the Court should answer the question referred as follows:Article 22(2) of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage, signed in Montreal on 28 May 1999, must be interpreted as meaning that, in the transport of baggage, the liability of the carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay is limited to 1 000 Special Drawing Rights per passenger in total, whatever the type of damage and the method of providing compensation.Case C-63/09 – Axel Walz v. Clickair S.A; full text of opinion available here>>.

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