A wayward drinks cart could cost Qatar Airways a steep damages bill with a passenger alleging serious physical and psychological trauma after being struck by a trolley nearly two years ago.
It’s the latest in a string of legal actions to be launched against international air carriers in the last year alleging injury and mistreatment of customers by ground staff and air crew.
John Karatzaferis has filed a lawsuit against Qatar Airways over injuries he claims to have sustained when a flight attendant hit him while pushing a trolley along an aisle on a flight from Doha to Melbourne in August 2011.
The claim says the collision has left the man suffering from “pain, tenderness and limitation of movement” in his left knee, with the accident allegedly aggravating an existing arthrosis (degenerative disease of the joints) that now requires an operation.
Karatzaferis said the incident and the resulting “chronic pain and dysfunction” has also led to psychological injuries that include “anxiety and depression”, according to a writ filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Melbourne Injury Lawyers, on behalf of Karatzaferis, are claiming unspecified damages. The legal firm and Qatar Airways did not respond to a request for comment.
Last year, an Adelaide man sued Qantas for negligence, breach of contract and breach of duty of care after a rat allegedly chewed through the wiring on his Aston Martin while the car was in the airline’s valet parking system.
In the US, Continental Airlines became the subject of legal action after it was alleged staff removed a sex toy from a passenger’s luggage and taped it to the outside of the bag.
In another case, 10 passengers sued JetBlue for damages after an incident in which the pilot had to be restrained after running through the cabin “yelling about September 11, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, al-Qaeda and terrorists”.