Come Fly WIth Me: : Psychiatric Injury and the Warsaw Convention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose - To examine whether Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention of 1929 (the Warsaw Convention regulates international carriage by air), which provides that an air carrier 'is liable for damage sustained in the event of the death, or wounding or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger if the accident which caused the damage ... took place on board the aircraft ...', permits recovery for psychiatric illness or lesser forms of mental damage suffered as the result of an air accident. Design/methodology/approach - Discusses relevant legal decisions that dealt with the question of whether or not Article 17 represents, in any event, the sole avenue for claims by passengers to the exclusion of rights of action derived from domestic law. Considers various courts' rulings as to whether the words 'bodily injury' include psychiatric injury (the US Supreme Court, in Eastern Airlines Inc. v. Floyd (1991), ruled that the Convention had to be construed in the light of the law prevailing in 1929 when it had originally been signed and when psychiatric injury was not widely recognized by the law; the Israel Supreme Court, however, in Daddon v. Air France (1984), held that it was possible to take account of changes since 1929) and concludes, in this respect, that the general body of case law on Article 17 confirms that psychiatric injury which gives rise to a claim at common law finds no remedy under Article 17. Investigates, finally, whether Article 17 has any effect on psychiatric injury claims by third parties and whether third party claims can, anyway, only be brought under Article 17. Originality/value - Offers a thorough overview of a significant legal controversy, and argues that 'courts in the twenty-first century should be able to take advantage of twenty - first century science, rather than being bound by notions prevalent nearly 100 years ago'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-428
JournalThe Journal of Business Law
Issue numberJune
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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