On 31st July 2019 the High Court handed down judgment in Labbadia v Alitalia (2019) EWHC 2103 (QB). The Claimant had slipped on snow or ice as he descended a set of aircraft steps at Milan Linate airport in Italy. He alleged that his injuries were caused by an ‘accident’ within the meaning of Article 17 of the Montreal Convention 1999. Margaret Obi (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) concluded that the presence of snow/ice on the steps, and the adverse weather in Milan, was not an accident but was a ‘state of affairs’. However, the decision to use uncovered aircraft steps was an unusual or unexpected event external to the passenger and therefore constituted an accident within the meaning of the Convention.
Jack Harding, instructed by Eversheds Sutherland, represented the Defendant airline.