The plaintiff's husband used to pay his air travel flights by credit card which was issued to him by the Banco Hispano Americano (BHA) where he also had a current account. The BHA had an agreement with an insurance company whereby a payment of up to 20 million pesetas in compensation was payable to the credit card holder (or their beneficiaries) for personal injuries suffered as a consequence of an accident as a passenger on public transport if the transport was paid for by means of the credit card.
The credit card holder tried to arrange a flight in February 1985. The travel company told him that his credit card had been cancelled. When he enquired about this at the bank, it transpired that there had been an error. In cancelling the card of another customer of the bank with the same name, who did not have any money in his account, the bank had also cancelled that of the plaintiff's husband. Since he could not pay for his ticket by means of a credit card, he arranged for payment through the company that he worked for. The plane on which he travelled crashed causing the death of all passengers. His wife sued the BHA for the 20 million pesetas compensation that would have been payable if the flight had been paid for by credit card. The Tribunal Supremo decided that the credit card holder had been negligent by not taking out alternative insurance after having accepted the Bank's explanations of the reason for the cancellation of his credit card. Therefore, the BHA was only held liable for 50% of the claim.European Review of Private Law