Sunday, February 21, 2016 5:03 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
A Lagos state high court Judge, Justice Oke Lawal and her husband,Chief Bayo Lawal has dragged Air France- KLM before a Federal high court in Lagos over breach of contract of carriage by air.
The couple are claiming the sum of N30million being compensation for anguish and mental distress they suffered as a result of the breach of the contract.
In a statement of claim filed before the court on behalf of the couple by Osaro Eghobamien SAN,the plaintiffs alleged that they boarded the defendants passenger aircraft’ Flight AF3849 from Lagos to Paris on 23rd of July,2015 and then from Paris to Florence on Flight AF1066.
At the point of embarkation in Lagos,they duly checked in a total of three pieces of Registered Luggage with the Airline, two belonging to the Judge,whilst the remaining one contained personal effects of the husband and other valuables.
However, at the point of disembarking on arrival in Italy on 24th July,only two pieces belonging to the Judge were delivered,the husband discovered that his lugage was lost or had been converted by servants of the Airline working in the course of their employment. The airline was immediately alerted
The following day a staff of the Airline. brought a luggage to their hotel,but the luggage was not his own,but a luggage that had been wrongly tagged by the Airline with the defendant’s baggage tag,consequently the staff left with the baggage with a promise that he will do everything possible to deliver his luggage as soon as possible.
Thereafter on 26th july 2015 they departed to Florence, Paris and further to London,the Judge checked in two pieces of Luggage,upon arrival in London on the same day it was discovered,much to Mrs Lawal’s shock and chagrin that the airline had failed to deliver the two pieces of her Luggage. A formal complaints was lodge with the airline.
Subsequently, a smaller luggage was delivered to the Judge three days later in Kent while the larger suitcase was delivered to her five days later.
On the 29th of July,2015, Chief Lawal averred that he was contacted by unknown persons on the internet,claiming to be in possession of his Luggage.
This individual had apparently broken into his luggage,and was able to orally identify the contents thereof including his iPad,and sensitive drug medication. He then advised the said individual to return the luggage to the Airline. Thereafter he informed the airline about this development. Nonetheless the airline has not been able to deliver his luggage.
In spite,of the complaints about the action of the Air France-KLM his luggage was not found.
The plaintiffs while claiming general damages in the sum of N30million and 2,871Britsh Pound for the lost luggage and content thereof,are also urging the court to declare that Air France was negligent,and its action amounts to a breach of contract and willful misconduct.
Air France-KLM is said to be making frantic efforts to settle the matter out of court
Consequently,Justice Saliu Seidu has adjourned till 21st of March,2016 for report of settlement or hearing.
*Akin Kuponiyi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org