Narayanan v. British Airways: Ninth Circuit Says the Montreal Convention’s Statute of Limitations May Begin to Run Before Claim Accrues

On March 19, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Narayanan v. British Airways, No. 11-55870 (9th Cir. 2014), holding that the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Article 35(1) of the Montreal Convention begins to run when an aircraft arrives (or ought to have arrived) at its destination, even if the claim to which the statute is being applied has not yet accrued at that time. The ruling—which decided an issue of first impression in the Ninth Circuit—provides greater certainty for air carriers and effectuates the Montreal Convention’s purpose of uniformity.

BACKGROUND -

On December 26, 2008, Panansam Narayanan boarded a British Airways flight from Los Angeles, California, to Bangalore, India, with an intermediate stop in London, England. Mr. Narayanan, who suffered from terminal lung disease, was assured prior to boarding that should he need it, supplemental oxygen would be provided to him during the flight. During the flight, however, Narayanan was denied access to this oxygen. He received medical treatment in both London and Bangalore, and received further treatment upon his return to the United States in January 2009. Nonetheless, his health deteriorated, and on June 11, 2009, he passed away.

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Topics:  Aircraft, Montreal Convention, Statute of Limitations, Tolling

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, International Trade Updates, Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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