A woman is suing American Airlines and its regional subsidiary Envoy for damages in excess of $176,000 after the plane she was on “veered” off the end of the runway in Freeport, the Bahamas resulting in her suffering “serious bodily injuries”.
Stephanie Hanson of Florida was a passenger onboard American Airlines flight AA4194 from Miami to Freeport on October 24, 2020, when after an otherwise routine flight, the Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet veered off the runway and turned nearly 180 degrees before coming to a stop on soft ground.
A preliminary investigation from air accident investigators in the Bahamas suggests there was a landing gear malfunction. American Airlines says the aircraft experienced an issue with the main landing gear.
Of the 25 passengers and 3 crew members onboard, it is understood that at least two passengers suffered minor injuries.
Hanson claims she suffered “serious bodily injuries, including aggravation of a previous ankle injury, orthopaedic neck and back injuries, physical pain and suffering, anguish, fright and shock, annoyance, discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life in the past and in the future”.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks damages under both the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention which gives passengers certain rights in the event of injury.
Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, for example, has been successfully used to sue airlines for hot coffee burns caused during turbulence or for heavy suitcases that have fallen from overhead lockers.
AA’s contract of carriage provides for damages up to $75,000 without proving negligence on the part of the airline. Hanson, however, argues the accident was caused by the “willful misconduct” of the airline and its agents.
As a result, Hanson is seeking damages under the much higher limit imposed by the Montreal Convention which limits monetary compensation to 128,821 Special Drawing Rights – a made-up currency that is currently equivalent to around $176,000.
Envoy was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.
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 relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.