The House of Lords has dashed the hopes of claimants who have suffered from the effects of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after ruling that the test case against China Airways and British Airways, brought by 8 people claiming that they developed DVT as a result of air travel, should not succeed.
DVT occurs when, as a result of restricted movement, a blood clot forms which can then cause serious complications if it reaches the brain or lungs. It has been estimated that between 500 and 1,000 travellers die annually as a result of DVT.
The claimants had argued that the airlines did not give sufficient warnings about the possibility of DVT occurring on long-haul flights and sought to make them pay compensation, which they are obliged to do under the Warsaw Convention if there is an ‘accident’. The Lords could not accept that the concept of an accident could include DVT, Lord Scott of Foscote concluding that, “an event or happening which is no more than the normal operation of the aircraft in normal conditions cannot constitute an... accident.”
The case may well be continued in the European Court.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.