£7,500 Compensation for Holidaymaker After In-flight Scalding


We recently helped a Yorkshire nurse whose anniversary holiday was ruined by an in-flight scalding injury win damages from the airline.

Coffee Spill
The holiday, planned to celebrate our client's 20 years of marriage, was disrupted even before she and her husband had arrived in Mexico.

Scalding Coffee Spilled From Plastic Cup

Shortly after boarding her Manchester to Cancun flight on 1 October 2012, our client was badly burned when scalding coffee accidentally spilled from a disposable beaker with an unsecured plastic lid.

The coffee landed on her abdomen, both thighs, her right leg and her foot, causing immediate pain and inconvenience which cabin staff struggled to contain.

Assistance On Flight Could Have Been Better

"According to our client, an attendant threw ice and water into her lap as she sat in her seat," Simpson Millar LLP's Paul Stevens said. "She was then helped from her seat to a lavatory, where her lower clothing was removed and a small burn gel pack was applied.

"Only 1 pack was at hand and it was moved around from one injured area to another. Our client was then assisted to her seat wrapped in a blanket to keep her covered."

The NHS nursing sister continued to experience burning sensations in the injured areas. During the rest of the lengthy flight, she was twice given a bag of ice and more gel, but received no further attention.

Ignored At Airport

"Neither was our client looked after at the airport in Cancun," Paul continued. "After consulting a local doctor the following day, she was prescribed antibiotics and she continued to dress her wounds. But while these measures were of some help, she remained in pain and extremely uncomfortable."

Unforeseen Costs

As a result of the accident our client, then aged 40, had to buy medication in Mexico to an approximate value of £150. In pain for the duration of her stay in Mexico, our client's celebratory holiday was effectively ruined.


At home in Pontefract, a plastic surgeon's report arranged by Simpson Millar confirmed that our client had sustained mainly second-degree burns of varying depth. Her scarring injuries continued to cause her embarrassment, impacting temporarily on her physical relationship with her husband.

She faced further unforeseen expenditure, too; medication cost her £40, while our client's injuries prevented her from using a local gym for which subscription she had already paid an unrefundable £156.

"Carrier Was Liable"

We wrote to the carrier, Thomson Airlines Ltd, citing a number of breaches of the Montreal Convention, which governs the carriage internationally of passengers, baggage and cargo.

"Despite Thomson's initial denial of liability, we were able to settle the claim on a full liability basis, resulting in a compensation award for our client of £7,500," Paul said.

Holiday Claims Team Praised

"I can't thank you enough," our client said, more than happy to recommend Simpson Millar LLP's services. "Paul Stevens was very friendly and explained things very well at my level. He always responded to my queries."

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