Boy sues VA over spilt coffee

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by Melburnian1, May 8, 2017.

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  1. Melburnian1

    Melburnian1 Enthusiast

    Jun 7, 2013
    #1 Melburnian1, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    These USA-style solicitors love to boast about their latest cases. Today we have Shine Lawyers talking about some Australian resident but formerly USA citizen (male actor) launching a Federal Court case against AA as the airline allegedly seated two (morbidly?) obese passengers (husband and wife) next to him: he had the window seat and suggests he was squished or had to stand. I have asked for that to be made the subject of a thread under AA's loyalty program.

    Last November (i.e. 2016) these solicitors launched a Victorian County Court civil action against VA on behalf of a then 15 year old lad who allegedly had coffee spilt over him causing severe pain to his genital and other areas.

    Sometimes these cases take a long time; at other times, a confidential settlement is reached.

    Is this case proceeding to trial, has VA quietly paid the lad's parents, or was the case dismissed with a justice finding for the defendant (VA)?

    Teen sues Virgin Australia over burns to genitals caused by spilt coffee

    While not an aviation subject, for anyone wanting to know how rapacious these USA-style solicitors can be, have a look at various articles in 'The Australia' criticising the conduct of another law firm in the class action about the 2009 (?) Victorian bushfires.

  2. theblank

    theblank Established Member

    Aug 3, 2014
    How likely was it really that the Travel Insurer sued VA on the boys behalf, so that they didnt have to pay up themseves.
    Often these kinds of claims are made by insurance companies but the media reports them as made by the individual.
  3. grubbidok

    grubbidok Active Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    The Ivory Tower
    I'd say that VA settled. About 98% of cases settle (in all areas) without going to court.

    The first case you mention seems a bit ridiculous. However, I would caution against dismissing the second as solely a money-grabbing exercise. Whilst these kinds of companies do ambulance chase, they also represent many legitimate cases too, and they are often the only firms who will represent individuals in some cases. I don't think anyone should be blamed for the law firm they use.

    In the case above, I would also not automatically blame the victim. Serious burns can occur if coffee is served too hot (near boiling temperature) - if the incident legitimately caused burns, blistering and scarring as the article says, it was served too hot and/or the safety mechanisms did not work and VA is at fault. If true it also probably resulted in numerous hospital visits - potentially surgery - and grief for the people involved.

    *note:I am not a lawyer who is trying to save the reputation of my profession but someone who works in health and has seen these companies do both good and evil in their work in medical negligence cases
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Strategic Aviation

    Strategic Aviation Established Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    I witnessed a full hot drink spill onto the crotch of a passenger on the other side of a shadow from me. The burns were severe although I can't recall whether paramedics were waiting at the gate.

    If it happens to you, forget modesty - it is imperative to get out of all soaked clothes immediately or the skin will keep burning. There's nothing in the first aid kit that can help either.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Virgin Bart

    Virgin Bart Established Member

    Great post. Good reminder. I'm hardly modest but I've got to admit stripping off wouldn't be the first thing I'd think of. So good point.
  6. Strategic Aviation

    Strategic Aviation Established Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Easy mistake to make but even with all the napkins in the world the soaked clothes have to come off. The passenger was given a blanket to cover themselves and spent a long while in the bathroom, then sat the remainder of the short interstate flight in J.

    If I get a hot drink now I hold onto it until it's finished. The previous incident happened during a calm flight with next to no turbulence, but it only takes a very slight bump including fairly minor motions from the passenger seated in front.
  7. Melburnian1

    Melburnian1 Enthusiast

    Jun 7, 2013
    Strategic Aviation, so I am incorrect to assume that because hot drinks will not be at boiling point when served, that they won't penetrate one's suit pants, pants or dress and also underwear underneath?

    It hasn't happened to me as an adult, but I was scolded with boiling water as a child, but that was without the level of clothing that most adults would wear.
  8. Strategic Aviation

    Strategic Aviation Established Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    If you're asking whether liquids need to be at boiling temperature in order to saturate clothing and cause burns, then the answer is no. But try not to find that out the hard way!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Wow tough parents. Were you also scalded with the boiling water.
  10. Simo

    Simo Established Member

    May 22, 2011
    Sunny Coast
    My guess is insurance money chasing back there costs. So basically VA's insurance company pays his TI if he had it for the trip.

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