Brain surgeon blames airline for little finger injury

Date: Feb 22, 2017

An Australian brain surgeon is pursuing compensation because of a pinky injury he suffered while travelling with Austrian Airlines from Brisbane to Manchester, England.

The claim, which was filed with Queensland Federal Court, argued that the plaintiff’s little finger was so damaged during the incident that it left him with a permanent disability.

According to court documents, the cabin crew folded out a tray from his armrest so that he could have an in-flight meal. However, he alleged that they forgot to retract the tray once he’d finished his food, which prevented him from reclining his chair.

Upon trying to fold back the armrest himself, he claimed that it “malfunctioned” and snapped back, trapping his finger in between two parts of the tray table.

Physical and psychological injuries

The plaintiff was able to free his finger from the tray after several seconds, although he required assistance from his son.

The severity of the injury allegedly caused the doctor to briefly lose consciousness, and he reported having suffered a fracture to his pinky, intra-articular extension of the digit and various soft tissue injuries. In addition, he said he developed anxiety and depression.

Due to his physical and mental injuries, the plaintiff has lost income and believes he will continue to do so in the future. His claim will also cover future medical costs he feels will be necessary.

He is pursuing compensation to alleviate these financial burdens under the Montreal Convention and Australia’s Civil Aviation Carriers’ Liability Act.

What injury compensation is available in NSW?

While this particular case is proceeding in Queensland, compensation would be available for similar circumstances for plaintiffs based in New South Wales.

For instance, the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) covers personal injuries experienced due to breaches of duty of care through negligence. These public liability claims can result in significant payouts if the injuries are severe.

Similarly, people can pursue total and permanent disability (TPD) claims for injuries that prevent them from re-entering the workforce. TPD claims are possible for both physical and mental ailments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Successful claims typically result in a lump sum payment to cover a range of expenses, including past and future lost income and superannuation, medical bills and non-economic losses like pain and suffering.

Would you like to know more about TPD claims? Please get in touch with an experienced and professional law firm such as Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.