Month: September 2014

EU Flight Delay Compensation Rules Clarified by Court of Justice

The Court of Justice in Luxembourg has clarified EU flight delay compensation rules about how the arrival time of a delayed flight should be recorded.

When the original EU flight delay compensation rules were originally enacted in 2004, there were a number of elements that were absent from the legislation. One such element was how the arrival time of a delayed flight should be recorded.

This is an essential part of the EU flight delay compensation rules because flights can depart more than three hours later than their scheduled departure time, but make up time in the air and arrive at a destination less than three hours later than the scheduled arrival time.

Flight delay compensation is only payable when a flight arrives at its destination three hours or more later than its scheduled arrival time, but there have been some disputes over what constitutes the arrival time of a flight – with airlines claiming it is when the wheels of the aircraft touch the tarmac of the runway.

However, any passenger who has arrived at a busy airport will be aware that there can be a considerable passage of time before they can disembark; and clarification of the EU flight delay compensation rules was recently sought by a group of passengers who experienced a late arrival on a Germanwings flight from Salzburg to Cologne/Bonn.

Germanwings refused to pay flight delay compensation as the wheels of the aircraft touched down 2 hours and 58 minutes later than the plane´s scheduled arrival time. The dissatisfied passengers joined forces, and took their claims for delayed flight compensation to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

At the hearing, the judges ruled that the arrival time of a delayed flight should be recorded as the moment the first door is opened to allow passengers to disembark – resolving the claims in favour of the Germanwings passengers and clarifying another element of the EU flight delay compensation rules.

Injury Claims for Hepatitis A Compensation Likely after another Frozen Berry Alert

The prospect of more injury claims for hepatitis A compensation has increased after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued another safety alert over imported frozen berries.

Last summer, the FSAI warned consumers to boil imported frozen berries for more than a minute before eating them, after the berries were found to be a common denominator in a number of cases in which patients had been diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus.

In the past twelve months, 1,440 cases of unexplained Hepatitis A have been reported across Europe, with 331 cases (21 cases in Ireland) confirmed as being attributable to imported frozen berries, and the FSAI has once again issued the warning for consumers to boil frozen fruit before using it to destroy the virus if it is present.

The FSAI was quick to comment that there is no risk of the illness from fresh berries or frozen berries that originate from Ireland, but Professor Alan Reilly – chief executive of the FSAI – recommended that all fruits should be washed before eating them.

Professor Reilly also warned consumers of the threat of illness from mass-produced food products manufactured for the catering industry. He said that catering companies should source any berries they use in their food products from reputable suppliers with food safety management systems in place.

The new alert increases the likelihood of fresh injury claims for hepatitis A compensation. Claims for compensation for hepatitis A from imported frozen berries can be made against any store, supermarket or food outlet which has sold contaminated food provided that an injury has occurred as a result.

The problem for retailers is that symptoms of hepatitis A can remain undetected for a period of up to fifty days. Consequently, a retailer may have sold a packet of imported frozen berries long before the new alert was issued by the FSAI, and still be the liable party in injury claims for hepatitis A compensation.

A different problem for potential plaintiffs exists if they have not retained the receipt from their purchase to prove that the contaminated berries were purchased from a specific retailer. Proof of purchase is not always necessary in order for injury claims for Hepatitis A compensation to be successful, and if you have been diagnosed with a hepatitis A illness which you suspect may have originated from eating imported frozen berries, it is advisable to speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible moment.