North America

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USA: Costa Concordia victims sue for USD 460 milion in Florida

Attorneys for six passengers of the Costa Concordia reportedly filed a law suit in Miami’s federal court  requesting USD 450 million in punitive damages and USD 10 million in compensatory damages. The complaint says plaintiffs were “in terror of catastrophic injury, death, drowning, having been placed in a situation where common sense said the vessel was sinking but the orders from the crew were to return to their cabins.”

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USA: New York law firms file class action against Costa

As reported by "Travel Weekly", New York-based personal-injury law firm Proner and Proner said it joined forces with Codacons, the Italian consumer-protection organization, in filing a class action against Costa Cruises. A second New York law firm, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, also will represent passengers in the class action.

Proner said that the suit will seek at least USD 160,000 for each passenger who was aboard the ship at the time of the Jan. 13 disaster near the Italian island of Giglio.

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Canada: change in airline pet policies ordered by CTA

Upon complaints by three passengers who all suffer from severe cat allergies, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has ruled that Air Canada, Jazz and WestJet need to amend their policies with respect to the carriage of cats as carry-on baggage in the aircraft cabin as to include either:

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USA: deplaned passenger's complaint fails to state a viable cause of action under the Montreal Convention

The plaintiff and her daughter boarded the aircraft for a Continental flight from Newark to Cancun, Mexico. After a dsipute with the flight attendants over her seating and and while waiting in the forward galley, the plaintiff began talking on her cell phone.  When a flight attendant told her to end the call, she replied that “the pilot didn’t announce not to be on your phone and I’m talking to my Mom” and continued her conversation. The flight attendant then told the plaintiff to stop talking on her phone or else exit the plane.

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USA: DOT fines AirTran for deceptive price advertising

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined AirTran Airways USD 60,000 for violating federal aviation laws and the Department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel.

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USA: man who helped to stop "underwear bomber" sues for USD 10 million

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Dec. 21, Theophilus Maranga says he "risked his life" by jumping on the would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam with a bomb stashed in his underwear. The lawsuit says Maranga lost a tooth and suffered injuries to his ribs, permanent numbness in his hands and a pain in his neck that hampers his movements.

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USA: District Court upholds fine for traveler to Cuba who did not answer OFAC queries

Plaintiff Zachary Sanders filed a suit to review final agency action by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He claimed violations of his constitutional rights under the Fifth and Eighth Amendments (in particular: the right not to incriminate himself and the right not to fined in an excessive way) arising from a USD 9.000 fine OFAC imposed on him for failure to comply with Cuban trade embargo regulations.

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U.S. Court of Appeals: violation of a government regulation no prerequisite to a claim under Article 17 Montreal Convention

After entering her assigned row on Icelandair Flight No. 656, Elin Phifer bent over, placed two carry-on bags under the seat in front of hers, stood up, and struck her head on an overhead television monitor, which was extended in the down position. Phifer collapsed and was assisted to her seat by her husband and an Icelandair flight attendant.

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USA: airlines ask DOT for another delay in new rules

The airline industry is again asking the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) or more time — now a full year — to comply with portions of the DOT’s new rules on the disclosure and implementation of baggage fees on multi-carrier routings. When the DOT adopted the rules in April, it set an August effective date, then changed that to January when carriers claimed they needed more time to reprogram their systems. Now the airlines are saying the five-month delay was not nearly enough.

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USA: no private right of action pursuant to Air Carrier Access Act

Plaintiff-appellant Mary Lopez appealed a judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered August 20, 2010 dismissing her disability discrimination claims against appellee Jet Blue Airways ("JetBlue") under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

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