Emirates has lost a 12-year court battle over lost luggage that has ended with a judge ordering the airline to pay a Nigerian businessman $1.63 million in compensation. Orji Prince Ikem has been pursuing the claim since 2007 after two bags containing the same sum of money were taken by Emirates contractors at Lagos airport and were never seen again.
According to The Nation, a federal High Court judge ruled in the favour of Ikem on Monday, saying that Emirates was responsible for covering the loss of the money.
Ikem had been travelling from Lagos to China with the large sum of cash in two pieces of hand luggage in order to place an order with manufacturers. Ground staff said they had to keep the bags in a safe place and promised to store the bags on the flight deck where they couldn’t be stolen.
One bag contained $700,000, while the second contained $930,000 which belonged to a second businessman.
The businessman told the court that he initially refused but after receiving reassurances from ground staff and fearing that he might otherwise miss his flight, he says he reluctantly handed the bags over.
Despite receiving two luggage tags for the bags, they were never to be seen again and Emirates was unable to say where they had gone.
The Dubai-based airline, however, argued that it wasn’t responsible for the loss and that the ground handling contractors it used in Lagos should be held responsible. The judge dismissed Emirates’ argument, saying the airline was ultimately responsible for not safely delivering the luggage to the claimant.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.