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Injured Air Stewardess Fails In Her Bid For Compensation

Posted in British Airways, Cabin Crew News2 comments

FORMER air stewardess Susan Andrews, who had to give up her career after she was injured when a Boeing 777 she was working on hit turbulence, failed in a renewed bid for damages last week.

In November 2007 a High Court judge dismissed the £150,000 claim against British Airways by Miss Andrews, from Treverbyn, and held that the pilot of the aircraft had done all he could.

However, Miss Andrews, who gave up her 30-year career after receiving a back injury and broken ankle in the July 2003 incident, claimed at London’s Appeal Court that the judge was wrong and sought permission to challenge the verdict.

Three of the country’s senior judges backed Judge Nigel Wilkinson QC in his decision. Lady Justice Smith said he had been entitled to make the findings he made.

During the incident, as the plane approached Chicago Airport, the court was told that turbulence was so bad that Miss Andrews was thrown off the ground and twice hit her head on the ceiling of the galley where she had been working.

It was argued that the pilot who was flying within 20 miles of a thunderstorm, ought to have ordered cabin crew to strap themselves in.

However, the High Court judge in his decision had cleared the pilot and co-pilot of negligence.

He had taken the view that they had considered the conditions they were flying in and that there was nothing to be criticised in the action they took even though there was a large thunderstorm in the vicinity.

In dismissing Miss Andrew’s challenge to the High Court ruling Lady Justice Smith sitting with Lords Justices Mummery and Goldring said she agreed with the High Court judge’s verdict.

Lady Justice Smith said: “The thunderstorm was very large and extremely hazardous.

“The central pillar of the cloud was about 45,000 feet high and the anvil of cloud spreading from the central pillar covered an area about 100 miles in diameter.

“The anvil is the cloud formation which results when the wind blows the top of the cloud pillar along horizontally.”

She said during the flight the aircraft encountered some turbulence, so much so that, in addition to the passengers being required to wear their seatbelts for significant periods, the cabin crew had also to be strapped into their seats.

However, she said the aircraft had detoured to avoid the storm and that the turbulence it hit which resulted in Miss Andrew’s injuries was unexpected.

Lady Smith continued: “The only question for the judge was whether the turbulence had been reasonably foreseeable on the flight path taken by the aircraft.

“He held that it was not.”

She said that in her view the judge had been entitled to listen to the evidence in the case and make up his mind from that.

2 comments

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  1. I knew Susie, she was treated very badly by BA, they did not look after her, she had a right to compensation as she was lucky not to have lost her leg from the accident. I was on the same flight and in my opinion, the pilots lied and did you know, the Captain did not attend court-he had left the airline!! Susie lost her job and nobody gave a dam!

    Susie Andrews Reply:

    Yes that was correct, I was treated badly-the flight crew made sure the passengers were strapped in but not the crew, during the then 20 mins to landing announcement-we had to secure the cabin and decend through the cloud the pilots had been warned against flying near! The Captain did leave the airline and was not in court. The first officer then got his promotion and is now a captain-surprise – and made a statement in jest during the trial-it was so bad it nearly blew his socks off, oblviously he thought it was funny I recieved the injury, lost my job and after a 30 year career lost a large ammount of compensation..I chose to fight the case because nobody who leaves to go to work and returns from work with life changing injuries, should be lneglected and not looked after and cared for by ther employer should not loose a trial in the justice system for injuries recieved. British Airways had a duty of care for my safety in the work place.
    How does anyone else feel?? If this happens again and I am sure it will-you must fight for your rights as British Airways do not give a dam!
    Susie

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