Passengers' Breach of Contract Claims Based Upon EU 261 Dismissed but Montreal Convention Delay Claims Remain
Plaintiffs, customers of Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A. ("LOT"), brought actions against the airline for delay under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention and for breach of contract for allegedly failing to comply with the terms of EU 261—the EU regulation addressing the required compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of delayed and canceled flights. Although US courts have held that EU 261 is not enforceable within the US, the plaintiffs did not allege that the airline violated EU 261, but rather that that it failed to comply with the provisions of EU 261 that had been incorporated into the conditions of carriage. The Court dismissed the breach of contract claims, finding that plaintiffs did not demonstrate LOT's "clear and specific" intent to incorporate the relevant EU 261 provisions into the contracts. The Court denied LOT's motion to dismiss the Montreal Convention claims, finding it plausible that plaintiffs asserted claims for economic damages potentially recoverable under Article 19, and rejecting LOT's argument that plaintiffs' claims were not for delay under the Convention because the flights were canceled pre-departure. Dochak v. Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A., 2016 WL 3027896 (N.D. Ill. May 27, 2016).