herald

Tuesday 15 October 2019

€150,000 for girl scalded by hot chocolate on Ryanair flight

Cup fell on the girl on flight (Stock Image)
Cup fell on the girl on flight (Stock Image)

An eight-year-old girl who suffered second-degree scald burns when a cup of hot chocolate tipped into her lap on a Ryanair flight has settled her High Court action for €150,000.

Sriya Venkata Neti, from California, was travelling from Rome to Krakow, Poland, with her parents when she took a sip of the drink but recoiled from the hot liquid and the paper cup fell on top of her.

A medical report handed into the court said the hot chocolate pooled on the seat, causing extreme burning pain.

Sriya's mother had to unbuckle her crying daughter and her clothing had to be removed.

She suffered burns to her thighs and buttocks and had been left with scarring, the court heard.

Upon landing in Krakow, she was airlifted to hospital and was then transferred to Toronto, Canada, where she spent eight days being treated for her burns before returning home to the US.

Sriya, who is now 11, sued Ryanair through her father over the accident on June 25, 2016.

Severe

It was claimed she had been served a hot chocolate at such a high temperature that the liquid could and did cause severe scalding and burns.

There was an alleged failure to provide a safe method of service of hot beverages.

It was further claimed there was a failure to warn Sriya of the known danger posed by the temperatures at which the chocolate was served.

It was also alleged there was a failure to provide any or adequate assistance to the child and her family post-spillage.

It was alleged that cabin crew requested she be moved to a toilet for treatment so as not to disturb other passengers.

The failure to provide adequate assistance, it was claimed, resulted in the burns being exacerbated.

Ryanair denied all the claims.

Hugh Mohan SC, for Sriya, said that, under the Warsaw Convention governing air travel, if a passenger on an international flight could show that bodily injuries were caused by an accident then they need not show negligence or fault against the airline.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement.

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