Ontario civil | Air Law
Warsaw Convention precluded claim as pleaded injury began while plaintiff was on board aircraft
Plaintiff claimed damages for alleged mistreatment by flight attendants in course of international flight resulting in plaintiff’s arrest and detention when aircraft arrived in Toronto. Plaintiff claimed damages for pain and suffering, infliction of mental distress, forcible confinement and false imprisonment. Plaintiff claimed damages for severe bronchitis arising from incident. Defendants brought motion to dismiss claim arguing application of Warsaw Convention precluded claim. Article 17 of Convention applied. Pleaded injury began while plaintiff was on board aircraft, continued during disembarkation and concluded with continued detention by police. Incident in case was accident. All aspects of claim for damages of psychological harm, including punitive and exemplary damages were struck out. Claim for general damages for bodily injury of bronchitis could be pursued. Plaintiff could not succeed under Convention for damages claimed for psychological harm and mental distress based on Article 29 of Convention. Article 29 made it clear claim for aggravated and punitive damages were not recoverable if claim was made under Convention or in contract or tort.
Gontcharov v. Canjet (June 4, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Wilson J., File No. CV-11-432902) 216 A.C.W.S. (3d) 839 (12 pp.).