Ryanair agreed to pay £3,500 in damages after a flight attendant purportedly failed to secure the lid on a hot cup of tea, leading to an eight-year-old being burned on her legs and stomach.
Ryanair Will Pay Damages After Child Burned By Hot Tea Onboard
The girl was siting on the aisle next to her grandmother, who ordered the tea. According to her family, the crew placed the tea on the girl’s tray table. When she picked it up to hand to her grandmother, the lid fell off and she was scalded.
As a father with a young daughter myself, I can imagine what went through the mind of the child’s father when he suddenly heard his daughter, who was sitting a few rows ahead of him, scream out in pain. He jumped up and after surveying the damage, immediately began treating the burns with cool water in the lavatory.
“When I heard her, I just jumped up and ran to the front of the plane where they were sitting as I was sat several rows behind, they hadn’t even tried to get her out of the seat, she was left sitting in the hot water. I took her to the toilet and splashed cold water on her.”
Flight attendants, while apologetic, exacerbated the matter by offering ice to the burn victim.
“Fortunately I have done first aid courses and knew you shouldn’t put ice on a burn. She was in complete shock. I then had to change her clothes in view of the other passengers and put her in a blanket and calm her down.”
The plane, traveling from Venice (VCE) to London Stansted (STN) landed and flight attendants did not address the issue again. The family hired a solicitor, who demanded that Ryanair pay damages for the accident.
Ryanair has denied liability, insisting instead the child was “the author of her own misfortune.” It further insisted that the lid was properly secured and that it was the grandmother who set it on the child’s tray and also knocked it over.
“It is clear from our insurer’s investigation that your client was the author of her own misfortune.”
Nevertheless, the company agreed to pay a £3,500 settlement. Under the Montreal Convention, personal injury that occurs onboard imposes strict liability (liability which does not depend on actual negligence or intent to harm), with very few exceptions, on the air carrier. Because the child was a minor, a court had to agree to the settlement figure, which it did via an order for Ryanair to pay out some .
Ryanair has been ordered to pay a family £3,500 after an eight-year-old was scalded by hot tea onboard. The compensation issue aside, burns are a horrible thing. Let this be a reminder to handle hot drinks with the utmost of care onboard a flight.
image: iStock // H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo