Flight Attendant’s Case Against Aer Lingus Heard at High Court

A flight attendant who made an injury claim as a result of a rough landing at Dublin Airport is facing her employers Aer Lingus at the High Court in Dublin.

In November 2009, Cassandra Reddin of Ratoath, Co. Meath, was employed as a flight attendant for Aer Lingus. During flight EI582 from Malaga to Dublin, the Airbus 320 on which she was working started swaying from side-to-side as it approached Dublin Airport. Upon landing, it bounced three times before eventually stopping much further down the runway than would be typically expected.

Cassandra informed Mr Justice Michael Hanna that the rough landing had caused her emotional shock, and resulted in her going home from work and experiencing extreme distress; she was rendered tearful for the whole evening. Cassandra also sought medical attention for soft tissue neck and back injuries, akin to what would be expected from whiplash. Cassandra sought legal counsel, and made a claim for compensation for injuries sustained during a landing at Dublin Airport against her employer, Aer Lingus.

The rough landing had caused luggage in the overhead storage departments to open, and for items to fall on top of passengers. According to Cassandra’s testimony, several people on board the plane are screaming with fear. “Safety documents shot out of their pockets; duty free broke in the overhead baggage and alcohol leaked into the cabin. There was a degree of chaos and stress on board,” she told the High Court during the testimony. She further claimed that the rate of descent into the airport was three or four times the normal safe limit.

The defendants denied liability for Cassandra’s injuries, stating that the co-pilot had not been negligent in failing to adequately supervise the landing of the plane. Consequently, when Cassandra applied to the Injuries Board for compensation for injuries during a landing, Aer Lingus refused to give its consent for the assessment to proceed.

The hearing at the Four Courts continues later on this week.