Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Mahinda Samayawardana yesterday ordered Kuwaiti Airways to pay Rs.2 million as compensation to two lawyers Mr. and Mrs. Mahinda Jayawardana for the immense hardship they suffered during their trip to Egypt in 2010 because of the baggage delay caused by the negligence on the part of Kuwait Airways.
The plaintiffs, a husband and wife, who are also attorneys cited the World Travel Center Colombo (Pvt) Ltd., South Asian Travels Ltd and Kuwaiti Airways Corporation as defendants.
They instituted this action demanding Rs.10 million as damages for the suffering they underwent during their travel on a holiday package.
The case against the 1st and 2nd defendants was taken up ex parte and inter partes in connection with the 3rd defendant.
The 3rd defendant admitted to the flight delay and the baggage delay and said all measures were taken to mitigate the inconveniences and damage caused to the plaintiffs.
It also made efforts to exonerate itself from any liability based on the IATA General Conditions of Carriage (Passenger and Baggage) and Kuwait Airways General Conditions.
The Court held that these are inapplicable to what was immediately relevant because they were obviously not part of the contract because of the fact that the attention of the plaintiffs had not been drawn to these terms and conditions when the contract was handed over.
The Court held that though the delay might have occurred at the hands of Egypt Air, the 3rd Defendant Kuwait Airways is jointly liable as Article 30(3) of the Schedule to the said Act.
Court also held that the plaintiffs had succeed in tort for breach of duty of care especially in relation to handling baggage and resulting in grave inconveniences caused to the plaintiffs and justice will be met by awarding a sum of Rs.2,000,000 to both plaintiffs as damages along with taxed cost of the action.
Chandaka Jayasundere PC instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for the plaintiffs. Avinda Rodrigo instructed by M/S F.J & G De Saram appeared for the 3rd defendant. (S.S.Selvanayagam)