Austrian Airlines: A brain surgeon is suing the airline over loss of earnings
Dr David Walker has filed a suit against Austrian Airlines in the Queensland Federal Court following a flight in which his little finger got caught in an aircraft’s tray table.
The Brisbane-based neurosurgeon has alleged that the incident left him permanently disabled, resulting in him suffering from anxiety and depression, according to The Brisbane Times.
He claimed that he was flying in business class to Manchester in the UK, via Bangkok and Vienna, on 5 July 2016 when the incident took place.
According to Dr Walker, the cabin crew unfolded his tray table before dinner was served, but did not fold it back into the armrest afterwards.
The neurosurgeon has alleged that the incident left him permanently disabled
When he tried, he claims the table “malfunctioned” and “snapped back suddenly without warning,” trapping his finger.
A statement presented to the court read: “The fifth finger on the right hand of the Applicant became jammed in between two of the parts of the horizontal tray table resulting in severe pain and injury.”
Dr Walker and his son had to work for a few seconds before they were able to free his finger.
The brained spine surgeon said he passed out briefly from the pain.
The court heard that Dr Walker fractured his little finger and that it has an intra-articular extension.
The statement of claim also says the physician has damage to his nail bed and soft tissue.
The claim says Dr Walker has lost income as a result of his physical and mental injuries and that he will face future medical expenses.
It is unknown how much the surgeon will request in compensation.
Austrian Airlines: Dr Walker claims to have suffered psychological and physical damage
Dr Walker is relying on the the Montreal Convention, an international treaty on compensation for airline passengers, and Australia’s Civil Aviation Carriers’ Liability Act.
He is not the only disgruntled passenger to sue an airline.
In September 2016 a man sued Emirates after claiming his nine-hour flight from South Africa to Dubai was ruined by an obese man spilling over into his seat.
Furious Giorgio Destro said he had forked out thousands for a window seat but ended up standing in the aisle as the man’s body encroached on his seat, making the journey too uncomfortable to bear.