England: Air Law Case: DVT

Deep Vein Thrombosis v Air Travel Group Litigation, Re [2005] UKHL 72The group appealed against a decision of the English Court of Appeal made in 2003 that the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on board an international flight did not amount to an “accident” under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention 1929. The House of Lords rejected the appeal. It held that an event or occurrence that was no more than the normal operation of the aircraft did not constitute an “accident” for the purpose of the convention. The onset of DVT did not amount to an accident. The event or the damage complained of had to be external to the passenger. The court applied the decision in Air France v Saks 470 US 392. Cramped conditions on an aircraft may be a causative link to the DVT suffered by the passengers but they did not constitute an accident.

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