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Abstract

This Note examines the history of, and the reasons for, the Montreal Convention, which in part forces airlines to indemnify passengers for injuries resulting from “accidents”—a term undefined in the treaty. The Montreal Convention and the subsequent case law interpreting it demonstrate how, to qualify as an “accident,” the injury-producing incident must be causally connected to the plane’s operation. Importantly, the causal connection’s adequacy should be evaluated according to American tort jurisprudence even though the accident requirement itself is an exception to general tort law. This Note focuses on a particular type of injury-producing event, a copassenger tort, because of its interesting causal nature that exemplifies the contrast between decisions using tort law and those rendered under the Convention.

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