My hand was scalded by hot tea on an airplane because the lid on the cup I was given had not been put on properly. Does this entitle me to compensation from the airline company and is my claim sent to the Injuries Board?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

My hand was scalded by hot tea on an airplane because the lid on the cup I was given had not been put on properly. Does this entitle me to compensation from the airline company and is my claim sent to the Injuries Board?

Answer:

Provided that you have received swift professional medical attention for your injury, and the burn on your hand has been recorded in your medical notes, you should be entitled to claim compensation for being scalded by hot tea on an airplane. The issue of how your injury occurred is irrelevant in claims of this nature as, under the Montreal Convention, an airline accepts responsibility for your safety and wellbeing in all circumstances under the terms of carriage. Where you might encounter issues with your claim for being scalded by hot tea on an airplane is if the airline company´s insurers try to get you to accept an offer of compensation which is not appropriate to your injury.

How much compensation for being scalded by hot tea on an airplane you are entitled to receive may depend on a number of different elements which the airline company´s public liability insurers may omit to fully consider. Although you will be entitled to receive damages for the pain and suffering you experienced at the time of your accident, this will be calculated with regard to your sex, age and the likelihood that the scald may result in a visible scar. Furthermore, if you have suffered a temporary decline in your quality of life as a result of your injury – or have incurred any costs due to seeking medical treatment at your destination – these should also be taken into account in your settlement of compensation for being scalded by a hot tea on an airplane.

The airline company´s insurers may also attempt to get you to accept a settlement of compensation for a hot tea scald injury based on typical compensation settlements in the country of your destination – whereas you may be able to get a far higher settlement in the country from which you flew – or contest your claim for being scalded by a hot tea on an airplane by alleging that you contributed to the accident or the severity of your injury by your own lack of care.

Consequently, it is recommended that you discuss the circumstances of your injury with a solicitor to determine how much compensation for being scalded by hot tea on an airplane you may be entitled to receive and the best way to pursue a hot tea scald injury claim. As your claim for compensation for a hot tea scald injury may be conducted outside of the country, it may not be necessary to submit an application for assessment of your injury to the Injuries Board Ireland if a quick and appropriate settlement of your claim can be negotiated, but your solicitor will only be able to advise you on this point once your claim for being scalded by hot tea on an airplane has been assessed.