Burned by Hot Drink on an Airplane

How can I prove the cabin crew were negligent if I make a claim for being burned by hot drink on an airplane? I suffered burns to my legs which ruined my holiday after a hot drink was spilled on my lap.

Personal injury claims in Ireland usually require proof of third party negligence in order to guarantee success; however a claim for being burned by hot drink on airplane does not require proof of negligence to be collected. You will only need to prove the accident occurred onboard the airplane and an injury was sustained which was not entirely your fault to be eligible for compensation for being burned by a hot drink on an airplane – even if the drink was spilled onto you by another passenger.
This is because air travel is covered by international law under the Montreal Convention (1999), which stipulates that air carriers must accept liability for all accidents which occur on board an aircraft, from the time a passenger gets on the airplane to when they disembark at the destination airport. There is one exception which would allow the airline to make a defence against the claim.

The airline is permitted to defend a claim for compensation for a hot drink burn on a plane if the amount of compensation being claimed is in excess of 113,000 SDR’s (special drawing rights). Special drawing rights are equivalent to approximately 1.15 Euros at the time of writing. If a claim is made in excess of this amount, the airline can mount a defence if it can prove a third party was responsible for the accident. The airline is not permitted to avoid liability for an accident when less than 113,000 SDR’s are being claimed as compensation for a hot drink burn on a plane.

There are two conditions which must be satisfied in order for airplane injury claims for burns from drinks on board an airplane. The accident must have been reported to the cabin crew and medical attention must have been sought after you disembarked from the aircraft, even if the cabin crew administered first aid while you were on the plane.

When claims for burns from hot drinks on planes are made, damages can be claimed for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Loss of amenity means loss of opportunity and any decrease in quality of life as a result of an injury. Loss of amenity can therefore include recompense for the loss of enjoyment of your holiday.

Airplane injury claims can also be made to recover costs and expenses incurred as a result of the accident or injury. Special damages in claims for burns from hot drinks on planes can include medical treatment costs and prescription charges, as well as the costs of surgery (such as skin grafts in the case of serious burns and scalds). It may also be possible to recover the costs of your holiday.

Although a claim for being burned by hot drink on airplane does not require negligence to be proven, it is still strongly advisable to seek legal advice from a personal solicitor about your case. It is important that your claim is properly prepared and appropriate documentation collected to support your case. A solicitor will also advise you about the expenses which can be recovered as part of your claim, and will attempt to negotiate with the airlines insurance company to ensure your compensation is paid as quickly as possible.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.