Just two months after Dusek, the court gave judgment in this similar matter.
The claimant brought a claim against two defendants in this case, the deceased’s employer and the flight charterer, following an aeroplane crash between Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo.
Like Dusek the claimant alleged that the employer breached their duty to ensure the safety of the deceased’s flight and like Dusek the court found that the deceased’s employer had breached their duty of care by failing to undertake sufficient enquiries into the safety of the flight.
However, in this case the claimant’s claim failed on causation.
The carrier had been changed at the last minute and the employer had no way of knowing this. Had they made enquiries it would have been about the original carrier and these would have been satisfactory and would not have led them to preventing the claimant from boarding the flight.
In any event, enquiries about the actual carrier would have revealed that it had been recommended by other pilots, had the requisite documentation and insurance, and had successfully flown to that destination before. The flight was relatively low-risk (despite being on an EU “banned” list) and positive recommendations in audits would have been persuasive and the deceased would still have taken the flight.
The charterer was also found not to be liable. Whilst they assumed a duty to the deceased by organising the trip, this duty was to take reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the carrier was appropriate and the court found that sufficient steps had been taken.