Airline not liable to passenger for substitute transportation

Oparaji v. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd. (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 2006).  Instead of boarding his flight after being questioned about his passport, the passenger spent time venting his anger to airline personnel, causing him to miss the flight.  The passenger then bought a ticket from another airline.

In his lawsuit, the passenger alleged every cause of action he could dredge up, and the court denied them all.  The court held that the passenger could not recover for personal injuries under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention because his injuries were purely mental, not bodily.  And the court held that the passenger could not recover delay damages under Article 19 because the airline had no liability for the passenger’s unilateral decision to obtain substitute transportation on another airline.

Update:  By an order issued December 21, 2007, the Second Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment.


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