The Ernakulam Consumer Disputes Redressel Forum (CDRF) has ordered Emirates Airline to pay Rs 2.8 lakh as compensation to a person who sustained injuries following the mid-air turbulence of its flight from Dubai to Kochi in April 2010.
The petitioner Siju Paul, native of Cherkunnam, Ernakulam and working in Ireland, had approached CDRF against Emirates Airline. The drafted order of the case came out on Thursday. As per the petition filed by the complainant, he along with his family boarded the aircraft on April 25, 2010 from Dubai to Kochi. While airborne, the aircraft suddenly stooped from 20,000 ft to 5,000 ft owing to air turbulence. No advance information was given to the passengers to fasten the seat belt. Following the impact, Siju Paul sustained right clavicle fracture. The airline company did not provide medical service to the complainant and his family at Kochi Airport.
The complainant went to a hospital at Chalakkudy and was advised rest for four months. Though the petitioner issued a legal notice to the opposite party in this regard, there was no response initially. The complainant had incurred a total damage of `4,89,864.
However, the counsel of Emirates Airline submitted that the incident occurred due to bad whether which is totally beyond its control. Though warning for fastening seat belts was given, the petitioner did not adhere to it. On arrival at Kochi International Airport, all passengers were offered medical facilities. However, the complainant and his family opted not to avail themselves of the medical facility and decided to go home and be treated at a local hospital. For the legal notice, they had duly sent a reply to the lawyer expressing their willingness to reimburse medical expenses.
The Emirates Airlines could not provide cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder in the black box to substantiate the contentions before the CDRF. The forum also received no documents on the inquiry conducted by the company after the incident which is regular with reputed airline companies.
Following this, the forum ordered the company to pay Rs 1 lakh to the complainant towards damages, Rs 1.08 lakh towards loss of his salary for six weeks and Rs 764 towards the treatment expenses incurred by the complainant.