The ruling of Stott v. Thomas Cook heralded the ‘exclusivity principle’ of the Montreal Convention for future claims for damages. However, the case simultaneously raised concerns regarding the rights of differently abled air passengers. Mr Stott, partially paralysed, was denied all his requests for assistance. This resulted in a series of traumatic events following which, Mr Stott suffered severe emotional harm. When Mr Stott claimed damages under the concerned EC Regulations, it was held that the Convention would be applicable exclusive to all other laws.
This article examines a new line of reasoning in arguments for differently abled passengers, in light of the circumstances of Stott. The article identifies relevant international and national legislations on rights of differently abled passengers to substantiate a claim under the Convention, from a fresh perspective, without overturning the exclusivity principle. The authors argue that failure of an airline to abide by prevailing national and international laws on disability rights amounts to an ‘unexpected event’ and breach of duty of care, thereby falling within the purview of an ‘accident’ under the Convention.
Applying abundant case law on the interpretation of Article 17, the authors aim to craft a successful claim for damages for differently abled air passengers, under selected circumstances unexplored by courts, within the confines of the Convention.Air and Space Law