Travel SOS: Can you sue an airline if turbulence is terrible?

Heavy turbulence resulted in Mary having a bad back. Can she sue the airline?

Travel SOS: Can you sue an airline if turbulence is terrible?

Turbulence on a flight to Darwin resulted in Mary having a bad back. Can she sue the airline?

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Q. Mary
I recently experienced bad turbulence during a flight to Darwin to visit some family. As the plane was being jolted, I felt immediate pain in my neck and upper back. I have never suffered from any back problems, but now even one month after the flight I am still in daily pain and have been taking painkillers. Can I sue the airline?

A. There is nothing to stop you from pursuing a case as you can file a lawsuit for any reason, but that does not mean that you will win.

Turbulence is largely beyond the control of the airline, which means that it is extremely difficult to prove negligence on their part. There are some cases where it is possible for the pilot to avoid turbulence by rerouting or changing altitude, but this is not always the case and is thus very difficult to prove.

Airlines are usually not liable for all events of turbulence and it is only if the turbulence is considered severe that liability for injuries would arise.

Under the Montreal Convention, an airline is strictly liable for any ‘accident’ occurring onboard or during embarkation or disembarkation of an aircraft. However, cases where injuries arising from turbulence have met the criteria for an accident have been few and far between.

If there were multiple people on your flight who suffered pain and injury from the turbulence on your flight you might have a better chance. However, if you were the only person to suffer discomfort after the flight, it isn’t likely that your law suit will prove successful.

Have you ever suffered an injury from turbulence on a flight? What is the worst experience you have ever had with turbulence?

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    COMMENTS

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    Charlie
    25th May 2019
    8:53am
    I have heard of airlines in Egypt where the passengers applaud the pilot for good landing and getting them there in one piece, but never heard of trying to sue an airline for turbulence.

    Life has a certain amount of risk to it. They, those and them are not in control of everything. Some things exceed Duty of Care.
    roy
    25th May 2019
    2:30pm
    They also applaud in Greece and Cyprus.
    pedro the swift
    25th May 2019
    3:05pm
    Thats why they always tell you to keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight. Did you have yours fastened?
    Do you unfasten your seat belt in your car once it starts moving?
    pedro the swift
    25th May 2019
    3:07pm
    Of course they would applaud safe landings in those places. I would also bet they kiss the ground on disembarking(like the pope does).
    casey
    25th May 2019
    3:34pm
    What has turbulence got to do with the airline.
    You wouldn't be American by any chance would you Mary?

    25th May 2019
    6:07pm
    good luck to anyone trying this...personally dont think you have a chance a snowballs chance in hell of winning!
    Tom Tank
    26th May 2019
    9:52am
    Turbulence when flying is not unlike being rained upon when walking. Its all part of the accepted risk when flying and keeping your seat belt fastened is sound common sense.
    Tom Tank
    26th May 2019
    9:52am
    Turbulence when flying is not unlike being rained upon when walking. Its all part of the accepted risk when flying and keeping your seat belt fastened is sound common sense.
    Karl Marx
    26th May 2019
    10:15am
    Someone else after a quick buck. Get real it's life.
    Rocky
    27th May 2019
    7:04am
    Why would you want to I love Turbulence


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