Ryanair €38,000 damages claim to be heard next year

Thursday 20 December 2012 23.15
The Ryanair plane that struck the runway on takeoff
The Ryanair plane that struck the runway on takeoff

A €38,000 damages claim by a passenger on a Ryanair plane that struck the runway on takeoff, has been adjourned for a hearing in the New Year.

Barrister James Peart told Judge Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court that events co-ordinator Roisin Hartshorn, of Coolawinna Park, Ashford, Co Wicklow, was on a Dublin - Stanstead flight that suffered a tail-strike on takeoff just over four years ago.

Ms Hartshorn featured in media coverage of the incident at the time.

She claims that shortly after takeoff there had been a sudden loss of cabin pressure and some, but she alleged not all, of the oxygen masks had deployed.

She alleges that she twisted her ankle and had suffered from nausea as a result of being unable to breathe until her oxygen mask was released.

She had suffered ongoing anxiety about flying and avoids flying as much as possible. On another flight she had suffered a panic attack and required valium and relaxation therapy.

Mr Peart told the court that under the Montreal Convention, which covers compensation for injuries on flights, a plaintiff could sue for psychological injury providing they could connect it with the injury suffered during the incident at the time.

He had asked for an adjournment to facilitate the provision of a psychologist's report not currently before the court and to allow further consideration of a transfer of the case to the High Court.

Mr Peter Lennon, of Lennon Heather solicitors for Ryanair, opposed the adjournment.

He said it was admitted there was a tail strike incident which had resulted in a severe jolt.

He said Ms Hartshorn was not entitled to recover damages for psychiatric injury.

The hearing is likely to be re-listed for late January.