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Six-Year-Old Girl ‘Scarred and Disfigured’ After Hot Meal Slides Off United Airlines Tray Table And Into Her Lap

Six-Year-Old Girl ‘Scarred and Disfigured’ After Hot Meal Slides Off United Airlines Tray Table And Into Her Lap

food on a tray on a tray

The family of a six-year-old girl who was left ‘scarred and disfigured’ when a hot meal fell in her lap during a 12-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Newark is suing United Airlines for negligence after alleging that the Chicago-based carrier failed to warn passengers that hot food served on its flights could cause a burn injury.

The lawsuit, which was filed in an Illinois district court earlier this week, alleges that United Airlines also failed to equip its aircraft with adequate First Aid supplies to treat burn injuries.

The incident took place back in July 2022 when Michal Fefferman was traveling with her daughter (referred to as O.F. in the lawsuit) from Tel Aviv to Newark on United Airlines flight 91. Since the accident, the victim has been left disfigured and scarred.

During the first meal service, Michal says she took a meal tray from one of the flight attendants and placed it on her daughter’s bi-fold tray table not realizing the table was defective and was slanting downwards.

The meal slid off the tray table and onto her daughter’s lap, resulting in a burn injury. Michal quickly called for help from flight attendants, but the lawsuit claims the crew could do little to help because the aircraft wasn’t equipped with the necessary medical supplies.

The lawsuit claims United’s negligence was responsible for causing O.F’s injuries, including the fact that the airline didn’t tell passengers that the hot meals being served were so hot that they could cause a burn injury.

The complaint also alleges that United failed to inspect and maintain its tray tables to prevent his type of accident, while flight attendants are also blamed for failing to check that the meals weren’t ‘unreasonably’ hot before being served to passengers.

United also stands accused of failing to train flight attendants on how to provide meals to young children and failing to train crew members on how to treat a burn injury.

The complaint alleges: “As a direct, foreseeable, and proximate result of United’s negligence, O.F. was seriously injured and is seeking past and future non-economic damages for her injuries, burns, disfigurement, scarring, discoloration, neurological deficits, impairment, pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment, and the loss of ability to enjoy her life, which she has experienced in the past and/or will continue to experience in the future.”

As well as suing United for negligence, the family is also making a claim under the Montreal Convention, which makes airlines strictly liable for injuries sustained by passengers during an international flight.

Claims under the Montreal Convention are a lot harder for airlines to defend, although the amount of monetary compensation available to victims is pretty limited.

Last month, another family filed a lawsuit against United after their young daughter sustained a “traumatic injury” to her left middle finger when it became trapped in an unguarded hinge mechanism of the armrest on her Economy seat.

The accident happened on a 10-hour flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco when the girl placed her finger in the mechanism when the armrest was in the up position. The armrest was then suddenly lowered, trapping the girl’s finger.

Off-duty doctors who happened to be on the same flight rushed to assist, but the victim’s injury was so bad that she required surgery to repair her extensor tendon and ulnar collateral ligament.

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