I guess frivolous lawsuits aren’t just limited to the US. A prominent lawyer was traveling from Mumbai to Casablanca with his wife for his 40th birthday in Emirates first class. On the return flight on February 27, 2018, he ordered lunch right after takeoff, and found an insect in his chicken salad. The passenger says he was so disgusted that he threw up a few times. The man claims it was a cockroach, while Emirates claims it was a beetle, according to their investigation.
The lawyer is now suing Emirates for Rs 87 lakh (~133,000USD). How did he come up with that number?
The dreadful experience has left him with a fear of flying and he later skipped a work-related engagement that required air travel, missing out on “anticipated professional fees” of Rs 30 lakh, according to Iqbal’s legal notice to Emirates. He has cited the loss of the potential fees, Rs 50 lakh for mental trauma, and Rs 7 lakh for his and wife’s first-class return tickets (Mumbai-Casablanca-Mumbai) in the compensation demand.
So he wants $46,000 in anticipated professional fees that he claims he gave up because he had to skip a work related engagement due to his fear of air travel (because apparently you can’t fly without eating?), plus he wants another ~$77,000 for the mental trauma, with the remainder being a requested refund for what he spent on the first class tickets.
Here’s how he described the situation in his complaint, per the MumbaiMirror:
According a complaint Iqbal submitted to Emirates on February 28, he, his wife, and 11 friends boarded the same flight back home — EK752 — on February 27. The couple requested the in-flight manager to serve lunch early so they could rest without any interruption during the eight-hour journey.
“I had eaten about half of my chicken (salad) and was in between bites when I saw something move in my food. I immediately switched on the light in my suite and I was shocked… to see a live cockroach in my food. I was totally repulsed and pressed the ‘call’ button and rushed to the toilet where I had multiple vomits (sic).”
The man is an Emirates Skywards Gold member, and Emirates offered him 25,000 miles as a “token of regret,” noting that this was a common seasonal beetle, and that they weren’t being negligent. Here’s how they responded to his complaint:
“The inspection of the beetle allegedly found in your salad shows it was a common seasonal beetle found in Morocco. But, finding out how it came aboard was difficult to pinpoint.”
It added: “The only explanation that is plausible, is that despite fumigation of the aircraft at Casablanca, the beetle somehow got in the aircraft whilst in Casablanca airport waiting for boarding, and was possible lurking somewhere in the galley area.”
The reply to Iqbal’s complaint also said there was no negligence on the part of the airline, “which takes great pride in the service quality and the food quality and the stringent food hygiene controls in force.”
I’d of course be disgusted if this happened on a flight I was on, but I also wouldn’t expect $130,000+ in compensation… stuff happens.
(Tip of the hat to Devarsh)