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Former Ryanair Cabin Crew Member Awarded €30k Work Injury Compensation

Judge Francis Comerford in the Circuit Civil Court awarded air hostess Laura Albacete, from Manelvidal, Vielha, Spain, €30,000 €30,000 work injury damages against Ryanair yesterday.

The air hostess’ lawyer, Samantha Cruess Callaghan, said she fell from the top to the bottom of an air stairs, operated hydraulically from the rear of the plane, on a wet morning at Cork Airport on February 11, 2012. Ms Albacete suffered the injury during this fall

Ms Cruess Callaghan told the court that Ms Albacete had struck her head and had been knocked unconscious for short duration of time after the incident. After this Ms Albacete (28) said she had been taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she was medically examined and found to have experienced a head injury and a sprained ankle.

After she had been treated Laura decided to fly home to Spain to recover from her ordeal. However, Ryanair had insisted that she pay for her own way home. Despite this harsh stance, Judge Comerford said that it was not an aggravating factor in a €60,000 personal injury claim against Ryanair.

MS Albacete, Judge Comerford was advised, suffered from headaches following her workplace fall and had also sustained a possible post traumatic optic neuropathy. Following a six-month period of recuperation in Spain before returning to work. However this only lasted for a short while before she had to leave her role. The Court was told that Ms Albacete’s dream had been to become an air hostess and in order to achieve this she had taken on work as an au pair in Cork so to become fluent in English.

Judge Comerford said he believed the arguments that the Ryanair plane was in good and proper condition and it had not been negligent of the airline to use it at the time.  Ms Albacete had been injured in an unlucky accident on the stairs which, after the incident, had been discovered  by a number of Laura’s colleagues, including the flight captain, to be wet and slippery. The airline had no knowledge of these wet and slippery conditions before the accident occurred.

Six years after the accident occurred Ms Albacete is still suffering from headaches at least once a month, the Judge was advised via medial reports. Additionally he as advised that she had at least suffered amnesia directly after accident and may have been knocked unconscious.

In relation to the pain and suffering and disruption to her lifestyle he awarded her €21,000 with an extra €9,000 for difficulties she had experienced with her eyes for a short time following the fall.

Ryanair revealed that it is to appeal the award of  the work injury compensation to the cabin crew member. In a released to the media this morning, a spokesperson for the airline said: “We have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this decision.”