Severe Turbulence Injures 11 Aboard Delta Airlines Flight 175 from Milan, Italy to Atlanta, Georgia
August 30, 2023
On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, a Delta Airlines Airbus A350 airplane carrying 151 passengers and 14 crew members en route from Milan, Italy to Atlanta, Georgia experienced severe turbulence injuring eleven people on board. According to news reports, the turbulence event happened 40 miles northeast of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where first responders were waiting to tend to and transport the injured to the hospital.
When a passenger is injured on a flight that is part of an international itinerary, the airline’s liability is governed by a treaty known as the Montreal Convention. To receive compensation under the Montreal Convention, the passenger must have suffered a physical injury.
There have been several flights resulting in serious injury or death since December 18, 2022, when a Hawaiian Airlines flight carrying 238 passengers and 10 crew members experienced severe turbulence causing injuries to 36 people. On March 1, 2023, multiple injured people were taken to the hospital after a Lufthansa flight traveling from Austin, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany, with 172 passengers and 12 crew members was diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport following severe turbulence. Another tragic incident involving severe turbulence claimed the life of a passenger aboard a Bombardier CL30 jet flying from Keene, New Hampshire to Leesburg, Virginia.
Delta Airlines Flight 175 Severe Turbulence In the Media
According to an NBC news report, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be investigating this severe turbulence occurrence.
The Montreal Convention
Severe Turbulence is one of the main causes of airline passenger injuries. When turbulence causes harm, injured passengers may have a claim against the airline operating the flight under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention, which governs airline liability for injuries or death to passengers during most international flights.
Kreindler partner Erin Applebaum whose practice is focused on representing passengers injured during aviation disasters and other incidents that occur during airplane travel teaches a popular CLE course for other attorneys - “Montreal Convention for Plaintiffs’ Lawyers: Representing Passenger Personal Injury Claims Arising on International Flights.”
Establishing Liability in a Turbulence Case
Determining liability for passenger injuries sustained during the course of a severe turbulence encounter is the focus of a great deal of litigation. Kreindler aviation attorneys wrote the article, “Handling the Turbulence Case.” for the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. The success of handling a turbulence case often involves a passenger or passengers being injured during an unannounced turbulence episode. Turbulence claims are typically denied, with the airline or private aircraft operator attempting to disclaim liability on one of two grounds:
- The turbulence could not have been reasonably anticipated
- The passenger failed to follow in-flight safety precautions or abide by timely warnings
Kreindler Lawyers’ Experience with Inflight Injury Cases
Kreindler attorneys have been successful in litigating numerous airplane passenger and inflight injury cases, including representing many clients who were seriously injured following their flight encountering severe turbulence.
Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc.
Kreindler attorneys, led by partners Dan Rose and Jim Kreindler obtained a record compensation in our Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc. emotional distress case. The passengers experienced 30 seconds of severe turbulence aboard American Airlines flight 58 from Los Angeles to New York. Not only did this Kreindler victory provide a record award for the 13 passengers, but the case resulted in American Airlines admitting liability.
Southwest Flight 1380
Kreindler was successful in representing multiple injured passengers as well as the family of the one passenger killed due to the mid-air fracture of a cabin window and the subsequent rapid depressurization during the flight of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737.
USAir Turbulence Case
Kreindler represented a passenger who suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a parapalegic after he was returning to his seat from the lavatory and thrown into the roof of a plane during severe turbulence aboard a USAir flght. There was no warning to the passengers.
American Eagle Airplane Weather-related Crash
Kreindler successfully handled severely injured passengers after the plane they were on overran a landing strip while trying to avoid thunderstorms.
Continental Auto-Pilot Failure
Kreindler handled a case involving flight attendants who were injured as a result of being thrown to the ceiling because the plane was experiencing auto-pilot issues.
Alaska Air Cabin Depressurization
Kreindler was successful in representing a seriously injured passenger after a sudden cabin depressurization incident case.
Learn more about Kreindler’s Leading Aviation Accident Law Practice.
About Kreindler & Kreindler
Kreindler is the preeminent aviation accident law firm in the world. Aviation Accident Law, he industry’s leading treatise for legal professionals was written by the attorneys of Kreindler & Kreindler, and continues to be updated each year by the firm. Kreindler has fought diligently since 1950 to achieve a record of success in successfully resolving airplane and helicopter crash cases on behalf of our clients, both domestic and abroad. Kreindler has law offices in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
image credit: Delta Airlines Airbus A350 via Flickr by Gerard van der Schaaf