Passenger sues airline for spilled coffee

Amount of $170,550 is maximum under treaty

A woman from Texas is suing United Continental for $170 550 for being badly burned by spilled coffee on a Madrid-Newark flight 18 months ago. The incident happened on a Continental flight, before the merger of the two airlines.
According to court papers filed by lawyers for the passenger, named as Lourdes Cervantes, a flight attendant put a cup of coffee on her tray table just as the passenger in front reclined the chair. The scalding hot drink spilled across her legs.
In addition to the pain Cervantes also suffers from multiple sclerosis, meaning that she could not move away to avoid the accident, which resulted in second-degree burns, medical treatment and permanent scarring.
The amount is the maximum compensation permitted under the Montreal Convention, a 1999 treaty under which victims of accidents on international flights can be compensated for physical or emotional injuries.


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