Monthly Archives: February 2015

Status Quo for Limits of Liability under Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention of 1999 (“MC99”) establishes liability limits for commercial aircraft operators for damages in relation to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo.  Article 17 provides that the carrier is liable for the death or bodily injury of a passenger involving an accident which occurs on board the aircraft or in the course of embarking or disembarking.  MC99 also provides that the operator may be liable for damage or loss to baggage or cargo and for delay.  Articles 21 and 22 of MC99 set out limits to the amount of this liability.  These limits are expressed in Special Drawing Rights (“SDRs”), an international “currency” established by the International Monetary Fund.  The value of a SDR is calculated …

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Year in Review: Airline Liability for “Bumping”

In July 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit released a ruling in the case of Campbell v. Air Jamaica Ltd.  This decision confirmed that a passenger can only recover expenses arising from delay after being “bumped” from a scheduled international flight.

Mr. Campbell, despite being checked-in and issued a boarding pass, was bumped from his flight on to a flight departing the next day.  In addition, he was charged a $150 change fee.  He sued the airline for damages stemming from the bumping, which also allegedly contributed to him suffering a heart attack.  Mr. Campbell claimed that as a result of his bumping and refusal of hotel accommodations, he was forced to sleep outside the …

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Court grants injunction against airport protests

In January 2014, we reported on a decision of the Alberta Provincial Court acquitting on criminal charges of trespass eight members of an anti-abortion organization engaged in demonstrations in the Calgary Airport in 2011.  The protesters had reasonably believed they were permitted to demonstrate on Airport premises given a 1991 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (Committee for the Commonwealth of Canada v. Canada) which concluded that prohibiting the distribution of political pamphlets at an airport violated freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It had been argued that the circumstances were distinguishable from the Committee case, as major Canadian airports at the time were run by the federal government, while they …

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