SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Airline companies’ failure to warn passengers of the risks of developing deep vein thrombosis on international flights does not equate to an accident, the 9th Circuit.
A group of passengers sued American, Continental, and other air carriers, claiming the airlines’ failure to warn of deep vein thrombosis risks violates their commitment to customer safety.
In a per-curiam opinion, the circuit court ruled that this failure does not qualify as an “event” or “accident” under the Warsaw Convention.
Deep vein thrombosis is a medical condition in which blood clots form in the legs. The International Air Transport Association and the British House of Lords have recommended that airlines issue warnings about the risk of the condition.
However, the district court found that the failure to issue DVT warnings did not result in compensable injuries to passengers. The appellate court agreed.
“An airline’s failure to warn a passenger about (deep vein thrombosis) is not an ‘event,’ … and not an ‘accident,'” the court ruled. “It does not become one just because public agencies have recommended or requested warnings.”