Nguyen v. Korean Air Lines Co., No. 15-10384 (5th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Korean Air claiming that the airline’s failure to place her in the wheelchair that she requested when she booked her flight was an “accident” under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention. The Warsaw Convention sets forth air carrier liability for a passenger’s injuries if the accident causing the injury took place on board the aircraft, or during the process of embarking or disembarking. The court concluded that the district court was correct in holding that plaintiff’s injuries were not the result of an “accident” under the Warsaw Convention because her failure to be placed in a wheelchair was not an “unexpected or unusual” event. In this case, it would not have been “unexpected or unusual” for Korean Air employees to assume plaintiff simply did not want a wheelchair, and to refrain from tracking her down in the airport to provide her with the same empty wheelchair she just walked past. Because plaintiff did not suffer an “accident” under Article 17, the court need not determine whether the failure to place plaintiff in a wheelchair was a “link in the chain” of causes leading to her injuries. The court affirmed the judgment.