Woman sues Ryanair over alleged injury when plane hit turbulence

Woman claims she fell on to her ankle due to turbulence while moving in the cabin

Ryanair has denied all claims and contends, if the incident took place, it was not caused by any act, default, neglect or omission by the airline. File photograph: Getty Images

Ryanair has denied all claims and contends, if the incident took place, it was not caused by any act, default, neglect or omission by the airline. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A woman who claims she injured her ankle after allegedly been lifted into the air when a Ryanair flight hit turbulence has sued in the High Court.

Lynette Peucker (72) got permission on Friday to give her evidence by video link from her native Australia when the case goes to hearing next year after the court heard she has a phobia of flying.

Conor E Byrne BL, instructed by Damien Conroy, of Augustus Cullen Law, told the court his client has post-traumatic stress disorder and a phobia of flying. She is willing to give her evidence and be cross-examined by video link from Australia, on Dublin time, he said.

The hearing is expected to last four days and, given Mrs Peucker’s age and flying phobia, it was not suitable for her to have to travel to give her evidence in court.

Since the start of the pandemic courts all over Ireland have been hearing evidence by video link and conducting remote hearings, he said

A solicitor for Ryanair, Peter Lennon, said Mrs Peucker should give her evidence in person in court in the normal way.

The case is listed for February 2022 when it was hoped things would be back to normality, he added.

Mrs Peucker, Jeffrey Court, Gisborne, South Victoria, Australia has sued Ryanair over the incident on board a PisaBrussels flight on September 12th, 2015

She claims, during the flight,she walked down the aisle to the rear of the plane to get to the toilet. As she reached the toilet door, she was suddenly without warning lifted off the floor into the air due to turbulence and landed heavily on her left ankle, she claims.

It is further claimed she was thrown into the rear galley and hit her head off a metal object.

It is claimed there was failure to warn her of the impending turbulence, the seatbelt sign was turned off and she was permitted to freely walk down the aisle when it was allegedly dangerous to do so.

She claimed she was in shock after the accident and was treated by the flight attendants who put ice on her ankle, wrapped it in a bandage and helped elevate it.

She was travelling with her daughter and was transferred to hospital on touchdown in Brussels and later had surgery in Australia for the ankle fracture.

She has alleged it was noted she had suffered an extreme and immediate psychological reaction in the form of intense and overwhelming fear as a result of the accident.

Ryanair has denied all the claims and contends, if the incident took place, it was not caused by any act, default, neglect or omission by the airline.

It further contends the woman, an experienced air passenger failed to account for the possibility of turbulence when moving about the aircraft.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey gave permission to give her evidence by video link and said medical experts on both sides from Australia can also give their evidence remotely.