€65k for boy scarred from hot tea spill on flight

Teenager suffered burns to his right thigh and leg when a cup of hot tea was knocked out of his hand due to a mishap by a member of cabin crew
€65k for boy scarred from hot tea spill on flight

Turkish Airlines planes at Istanbul Airport. File picture

A High Court judge has approved a €65,000 settlement for a teenager left with a permanent scar on his right thigh after hot tea spilt on him during an airline flight.

Emre Karakaya, of Ursuline Crescent, Waterford, claimed he was scalded and suffered burns to his right thigh and leg when a cup of hot tea was knocked out of his hand due to a mishap by a member of cabin crew.

The boy, then aged 13, was travelling from Dublin to Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight at the time of the incident on July 22, 2017.

Now aged 17, the boy, through his mother Leeanne Karakaya, sued Turkish Airlines over the incident.

In an affidavit, Ms Karakaya said her son had attended a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon who advised the boy had sustained scald injuries to his right thigh following the accident. 

The surgeon advised the area had healed with dressings alone over some three weeks but, as a result of the incident, the boy has been left with permanent, noticeable scars.

Sara Phelan, for the boy, told Mr Justice Garrett Simons today that her side considered the €65,000 settlement offer from the defendant was reasonable and was seeking that the court should rule it.

Her side had valued the claim at between €55,000 and €75,000 and was recommending the offer for reasons including that if the case went to hearing, it would be dealt with under the new guidelines governing personal injury awards.

Mr Justice Simons said the boy had suffered a very nasty burn which had happily resolved but he had a significant scar which is still noticeable.

The judge noted the case had been valued at between €55,000 to €75,000 and the offer of €65,000 was “slap bang” in the middle of that range.

Having regard to the potential impact of the new guidelines on personal injury awards, the boy was unlikely to get more if the case went to trial, the judge said.

There must be some risk he would get less because of certain issues raised, he added.

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