In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has issued summons to Vistara airline in TARA GUPTA & ORS. V. TATA SIA AIRLINES LTD., response to a lawsuit filed by the family of a 10-year-old girl seeking damages of approximately Rs. 2.7 crores. The family claims the damages are a result of burn injuries sustained by the minor due to the spillage of a hot beverage onboard a flight from Delhi to Frankfurt in August of the previous year.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani, after a prima facie review of the case, directed the registration of the plaint as a suit and issued summons. The parents allege negligence and omission on the part of Vistara’s crew, seeking damages amounting to Rs. 2,68,93,077 from the airline.
The court order, Issued on January 09, states, “Upon a prima facie conspectus of the matter, let the plaint be registered as a suit. Issue summons in the suit. Upon the plaintiffs taking steps within 10 days, let summons be sent to the defendant by all permissible modes, returnable before the learned Joint Registrar.”
The court also addressed an application filed along with the suit, seeking ad-interim relief against the defendant, Tata Sia Airlines Limited, the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines operating under the Vistara brand. Additionally, notice has been issued on an application video wherein the minor and her parents seek leave to sue the airline for additional reliefs at a later stage.
The next hearing for this matter is scheduled for March 06.
The incident occurred on August 11 last year on flight UK25. The family alleges that the incident resulted from the negligence of one of the air hostesses onboard. According to the suit, the minor child suffered severe second-degree burn injuries on her thighs and adjoining areas due to the incident and alleged negligence of the crew.
After the parents shared the incident on social media, Vistara issued a statement confirming the occurrence but claimed it happened when the child was being “playful.”
“We confirm an unfortunate incident occurred onboard UK25 flying from Delhi to Frankfurt on 11 August 2023, where a child sustained injuries due to spillage of hot beverage on the body. Our cabin crew had served hot chocolate to the child at the request of her parents, however, the beverage spilled on her since the child was playful during the service,” Vistara stated.
The family has now filed a lawsuit against Vistara, seeking over Rs. 2.6 crores in damages for the serious medical injuries suffered by the minor child. The claim also includes compensation for the severe mental agony and harassment endured by the family, along with damage to their reputation resulting from the airline’s public statement.