Speaker 1 (00:00):
… Ceiling after a LATAM Airlines plane dropped suddenly during its flight from Sydney to Auckland. Several passengers suffered injuries to their head and required medical attention, but should these passengers be compensated for what happened to them? Joining us now is a lawyer who acted for passengers on a 2008 Qantas flight. The circumstances were eerily similar. Peter Carter is the Director of Travel Accident injury Compensation at Carter Capner Law. Peter, good afternoon.

Peter Carter (00:26):
Good afternoon.

Speaker 1 (00:28):
Well, firstly, what an awful [00:00:30] experience for these people.

Peter Carter (00:30):
Yes, it’s a terrible situation. People being flung, weightless, to the ceiling and then dropping to the cabin floor or onto armrests. Well, I’ve seen it cause very serious injuries in the past in that QF ’72 accident.

Speaker 1 (00:48):
Yeah, so can you take us through that accident? What was the compensation in the end for those passengers?

Peter Carter (00:52):
Well, compensation always ranges, depending on the extent [00:01:00] of injuries, and what losses those injuries caused to each person so everyone’s a different situation. If you can’t return to work, your compensation’s very large, if you’re a young person. If your injury is not as serious, then compensation depends on exactly the losses that are calculated. For big injuries, can be millions, unfortunately, but that reflects the extent of each person’s loss.

Speaker 1 (01:26):
So what were you able to achieve for passengers of that Qantas flight?

Peter Carter (01:30):
[00:01:30] Well, we negotiated with the insurers and got very satisfactory settlements in each case.

Speaker 1 (01:42):
Private settlements, Peter. Can I ask you, this airline as well, they’re a Chilean airline so would we be holding them to account in a class action like this or any action like this in Australia? How would that work?

Peter Carter (01:54):
Well, they’re governed by Australian legislation. They fly into Australia. They’re required to [00:02:00] carry mandatory insurance and so, yes, they can be held to account. Their liability under the Australian legislation is that reflected by an international convention governing international air carriage.

Speaker 1 (02:19):
And how liable is an airline for an accident like this? The cause is still under investigation so do your claims depend on that outcome?

Peter Carter (02:28):
They do to some extent because [00:02:30] if the airline can show that they had no part in the accident, it wasn’t through their fault, their maximum liability is capped at $260,000 per passenger. That doesn’t mean that each passenger gets $260,000, it just means that those injured can claim up to that amount and the airline’s insurer can contest the amount claimed.

Speaker 1 (02:55):
Okay. Peter Carter is the Director of Travel Accident Injury [00:03:00] at Carter Capner Law, 133693. What’s the worst flight you’ve ever been on? This one in particular, this Auckland flight, sounded horrific. Imagine you’re just flying along and the next minute the nose is down and you’re up on the roof of the plane. I couldn’t think of anything worse. 133693.