Man Who Fractures Arm On Plane Receives Full Compensation Payout

Published 21 Nov 2018

When you suffer disability and reduced mobility, travelling is already a difficult proposition. Gerard Malouf and Partners had recent success on our client’s behalf in circumstances where a major airline failed to provide a man with a hoist to get out of his allocated seat and into his wheelchair after a long flight. In the course of transferring to his wheelchair, our client suffered a broken arm.

When an injury occurs on a plane, or in the course of boarding or disembarking a plane, the ordinary laws of negligence do not apply. International conventions have been enshrined in all States and the Commonwealth through various Civil Aviation Air Carriers Liability acts. Those Acts are similar or identical in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and all other states and the Commonwealth.

Those acts provide that when injury on a plane is suffered, negligence does not have to be proven. An injured person does however need to prove that they suffered injury through some event that was not part of the normal operation of the plane, and that the event was not intrinsic to them (eg that it was not a heart attack caused by normal stimulus or events of flying).

Our client’s case was that he was not provided with a reasonable or safe means of getting off the plane, and Gerard Malouf and Partners argued on our client’s behalf that he had suffered an injury that satisfied the legal definition for the purpose of receiving compensation. The insurer for the airline argued that all aspects of our client’s case were unmeritorious – that our client couldn’t win, and if he did the amount he received would be very small

The airline insurer seemed to be of the view that because our client had extensive pre-existing disabilities, that his claim would not be fought and pursued as hard as we pursue any other. However, just as the Royal Commission into the aged care sector will no doubt also soon make clear, because a person is disabled, aged or impaired does not give someone the right to do them harm, whether carelessly or otherwise. The law provides that everyone injured through no fault of their own may claim compensation, and at Gerard Malouf and Partners we apply the law without fear or favour.

We fully funded the claim, obtained favourable reports from relevant experts, and set down a trial, assuming much risk on our client’s behalf. The insurer realised that we and our client were willing to stay the course, and agreed a generous settlement. Importantly, our client has gained a certain  confidence to travel and live life in as normal a manner as possible, knowing that  a wrong was done to him and his rights were vindicated.

As a firm that has a large team that practices exclusively in medical negligence, air carriers acts and personal injury cases, our experience means we understand how to succeed on our client’s behalf.

If you, a family member or friend has been the victim of a medical mistake, injury on a plane, or negligence generally, bringing a claim though Gerard Malouf and Partners is likely to bring you answers that you would never otherwise have received, compensation that you deserve, and a sense of closure.

Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers is the premier personal injury firm on the east coast of Australia. From Cairns to Cronulla, we have assisted thousands of injured people in your position. So feel free to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers for a no obligation discussion of your circumstances by calling 1800 004 878 or complete our email enquiry form on the website.