Lawyers Continuing Fight For Justice For Traumatised Victims Of Ryanair Flight Plunge

Proceedings Issued Against Airline Operator


Specialist aviation lawyers representing passengers injured and traumatised when a Ryanair flight plunged 20,000 ft due to loss of cabin pressure  over Europe have revealed that they have issued proceedings against Ryanair in order to protect the rights of a number of passengers that they represent.

The Boeing 737-800 operated by Ryanair was travelling from Milan to East Midlands Airport on April 4th 2012 when it was diverted to Frankfurt following an emergency descent which led to the release of oxygen masks onboard the plane.  This terrifying descent caused physical and psychological injuries to a number of passengers.

An interim report has been published by the German aviation authorities, and it reveals that the loss of pressure was caused by issues with the cabin pressure controllers.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team acts for injured victims and the families of those killed in air accidents across the globe. The team is also representing passengers affected by cabin smoke/emergency diversion issues on three Thomas Cook flights and one Jet2 flight, just months after the Ryanair depressurisation. 

Following the retention of Irwin Mitchell by passengers who suffered both psychological and physical injuries in the incident, Ryanair admitted liability in relation to the latter under the Montreal Convention regulations for in-flight incidents. However, as there is only a two-year limitation period to bring claims and as other passengers are contacting Irwin Mitchell, the firm has issued proceedings against Ryanair to protect their rights.

Expert Opinion
Cabin depressurisation at cruising altitude – normally around 35,000 feet – is a very serious emergency as the air at this altitude is too thin to support life.

"This is the reason that the aircraft has to make a very rapid descent to 10,000 feet, where the air is sufficiently thick to be able to breathe without oxygen masks. It is the rapid depressurisation and descent that has caused the injuries to passengers, many of whom believed that they were going to plummet to the ground.

"For the passengers that we represent, we hope to be able to settle their cases against Ryanair fairly, but the short two year limitation period that applies to these kinds of cases means that formal court proceedings have been commenced with the filing of papers prior to 3 April 2014 to protect their rights.

"In addition, we still have passengers contacting us for the first time almost two years on from the accident. For these passengers, there is unfortunately a race against time as they have to lodge their claims with the court by 3 April."
Jim Morris, Partner

Patricia Rocha Bello Bertin, a Brazilian national who recently studied in the UK at Loughborough University, was travelling on flight FR1703 with her two children when the incident occurred.

She recalled: “It was a very frightening experience and we all felt searing ear pain when it happened. I thought that we were going to die. It was the worst feeling in the world, sitting there and not being able to stop what was happening.

“My job role involves a lot of travelling and the night before any flight I cannot sleep and the feelings and fears I had during the incident always come flooding back. It has genuinely made me incredibly afraid to fly.”

Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law practice specialise in helping injured victims and the families of those killed in air accidents across the globe gain justice related to the incidents.

In addition to acting for victims of in-flight incidents, the team of experts notably act for injured victims involved in the helicopter crash in the Vauxhall area of London in 2013 and offshore crashes on the coast of Shetland in August 2013 and in the North Sea in October 2012. The lawyers are also supporting Irwin Mitchell Scotland in its work on behalf of victims of The Clutha helicopter crash in Glasgow in November last year.