Montreal Convention


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Montreal Convention

an international convention signed in 1999 and now in force for the UK for non-international travel and within the European Union and Economic Area. It replaces the Warsaw Convention governing loss, injury and damage on air journeys. The most significant point is that there is a two-tier regime for personal injury - strict liability up to about £ 85,000 and a reversible burden fault provision above that. There is no upper financial limit for personal injury. In the carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo, any action for damages, however founded, whether under the Convention or in contract or in tort or otherwise, can only be brought subject to the conditions and such limits of liability as are set out in the Convention without prejudice to the question as to who are the persons who have the right to bring suit and what are their respective rights. In any such action, punitive, exemplary or any other non-compensatory damages are not recoverable. Effectively many claims are made more easy than under common law but others are barred. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.

However, this terminology has in previous conventions made claims for nervous shock alone or as a result of a condition - like deep vein thrombosis - difficult or impossible. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of destruction or loss of, or of damage to, checked baggage upon condition only that the event which caused the destruction, loss or damage took place on board the aircraft or during any period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier. In the case of unchecked baggage, including personal items, the carrier is liable if the damage resulted from its fault or that of its servants or agents. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of, or damage to, cargo upon condition only that the event which caused the damage so sustained took place during the carriage by air. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent it proves certain defences including an act of war or an armed conflict. The carrier is liable for damage occasioned by delay in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage or cargo. Receipt by the person entitled to delivery of checked baggage or cargo without complaint is prima facie evidence that the same has been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the document of carriage or with the record preserved by the other means set out in the convention. In the case of damage, the person entitled to delivery must complain to the carrier forthwith after the discovery of the damage, and, at the latest, within seven calendar days. In the case of delay, the complaint must be made at the latest within 21 days from the date on which the baggage or cargo have been placed at his or her disposal. The right to damages is extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped.

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