Flight attendant sues Qantas for $315,000 after slipping on wet stairs

Flight attendant sues Qantas for $315,000 after slipping on wet stairs

May 13, 2019

Qantas flight attendant sues the airline for $315,000 after slipping on wet stairs while getting off a plane in rainy weather

  • Margaret Chapman, 47, was using mobile stairs in the rain in 2015
  • She slipped and injured her neck and shoulder at Brisbane airport 
  • The flight attendant  is suing Qantas for $315,000 for ‘negligence’
  • She claims Qantas provided improper equipment and training 

A flight attendant who slipped while using mobile stairs to disembark an aircraft in the rain is suing Qantas for $315,000. 

Margaret Chapman, 47,  claims she injured her neck, shoulder and thumb in the incident at Brisbane airport in April 2015.

Ms Chapman said she has been left permanently impaired and less employable according to a claim filed by Patinos Personal Lawyers in the Brisbane District Court.

She said the incident could have been avoided by Qantas if it had provided proper equipment and training.

Ms Chapman’s claim says Qantas should have known that using mobile stairs in rainy weather would expose staff to the risk of slipping.

Mobile stairs are used when planes are too far from a gate with a passenger bridge. Ms Chapman was disembarking an aircraft in the rain when she slipped on wet mobile stairs (not the ones pictured) causing permanent injury

‘But for the negligence of the defendant (Qantas), the plaintiff (Ms Chapman) would not have suffered said injuries,’ the claim said according to a report by The Australian.

‘The defendant required the plaintiff to perform her work duties in an unsafe manner.’

Daily Mail Australia contacted Qantas on Monday but the airline said it would not be commenting ‘as the matter is still proceeding’.

Airlines use mobile stairs to disembark passengers when an aircraft is parked too far from a gate with a passenger boarding bridge, and at airports that have no bridges. 

The claim also says Qantas should have provided training on how to descend safely in wet weather, and failed to carry out adequately assess the risks of walking down wet mobile stairs.

The Flight Attendants Association of Australia has reportedly said cases of cabin crew slipping on mobile stairs are rare.

A flight attendant is suing Qantas for a reported $315,000 after slipping on wet mobile stairs  as she says the airline should have used stairs that are not slippery when wet

In 2013, a woman was injured while disembarking a plane using mobile stairs in the rain at Sydney Airport when she slipped and fell, landing on her coccyx and injuring her back.

She wanted to sue the airline for $500,000 but her lawyers failed to commence personal injury proceedings in time, leading her to pursue a negligence claim in the NSW District Court against her own lawyers. 

Budget carrier Ryanair settled a case in 2012 for an undisclosed sum after being sued by Polish passenger Malgorzata Jeneralczyk, then-aged 57, who slipped and fell on wet mobile stairs while alighting from a Ryanair jet in Dublin, Ireland.

She had been holding a rail with one hand and carrying her bags in the other when she fell, knocking her unconscious and leaving her with bruises.  

Brisbane Airport where the mobile stairs slip occurred in 2015

In 2011,  a Virgin pilot was hurled from tarmac stairs where he was conducting a pre-flight check by the engine thrust of a passing Qantas 747 taxiing for takeoff, causing him to break an arm and a leg. 

Jetstar was sued in 2010 for not providing safe access after an elderly passenger slipped up stairs at Brisbane Airport, but won the case on appeal. 

Six passengers fell to the ground while climbing mobile stairs that failed in Russia, while trying to board a Ural Airlines A320 earlier this year.



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