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Flyer scalded in Ryanair tea spill wins €4k

A 39-YEAR-OLD man was scalded in his genital area by hot tea during a Ryanair flight after a tray collapsed, a court heard.

Darren Weldon told the Circuit Civil Court that on August 19, 2007 he and his cousin Greg Woodley were travelling from Murcia, Spain, back to Dublin, when the incident happened.

Mr Weldon, of Colbertsfort, Belgard Road, Dublin, said he was sitting in the middle seat and ordered food and a cup of tea which he placed on the tray in front of him.

He said he went to the toilet and when he came back his cousin Mr Woodley held the cup of tea to allow him to sit back in the middle row.

The court heard that when Mr Woodley placed the cup on the tray in front of his own seat, the tray collapsed. The cup landed on Mr Weldon's lap and hot tea had splashed over his lap.

Mr Weldon claimed he was scalded to his genital area and burned.

He later went to Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, where he was given a cream and painkillers.

John Doherty, counsel for Mr Weldon, said that before the incident, his client had brought to the attention of an air hostess that the tray was faulty.

Mr Weldon sued Ryanair Ltd, of Dublin Airport, Collinstown, Dublin, for negligence.

Ryanair denied liability and said there had been some horseplay between Mr Weldon and Mr Woodley before the incident. It denied the tray was broken before taking off.

The airline said that when Mr Weldon notified the air hostess that the tray was faulty, she told him not to use it and to use the middle one instead.

Ryanair, which denied negligence, said that the hostess proposed assistance when she became aware of the incident.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, awarding Mr Weldon €4,000 damages, saying once they had become aware the tray was faulty, the airline crew should have marked it with tape to prevent people from using it.

hnews@herald.ie