CASE 1: FLASH AIRLINE FLIGHT 604 CASE
1. The French plaintiffs sued the Egyptian carrier Flash Airlines in France. Have a look at the Warsaw Convention of 1929 (research the text on the internet). Identify the liability rules for damage sustained in the event of the death and, separately, the clause that would justify French jurisdiction over the case. 2. Some French plaintiffs also tried to sue the US manufacturer and its US contractors. Is the Warsaw Convention applicable in this respect? How could the plaintiffs establish US jurisdiction? 3. What is forum non conveniens? How did the US court use forum non conveniens to decline its jurisdiction in this case? 4. Forum non conveniens is not available to French courts. French judges cannot exercise discretion on deciding on jurisdiction as their US colleagues can. Explain why the Paris Court of Appeal judgment was so controversial! 5. The Flash Airlines case reveals the many open questions in international jurisdiction. Why did the French plaintiffs try to sue the US companies in this case and why did they try to sue them in the US?6. Despite the fact that forum non convenience is designed to make sure that a case is decided by an appropriate court, and thus appears to improve international judicial cooperation, how does forum non convenience, as it is used by US courts, often appear to foreign plaintiffs?
The facts: The flight crashed in the red see. The plane was French but the company Egyptian. The case came to the French court. Causes of the accident may be:
* Technical problem of the flight management system
* Human causes, for instance a pilot’s fault.
* Combination of several technical problem and a wrong decision from the pilots Loss of control due to instrument manufacture, poor crew resource training and spatial disorientation (disputed) 6 crew members (most of them Egyptians) and 142 passengers (most of them French) died: so which court may judge this case? Choosing the judge/ Choosing the law and vice-versa:
Question 1. The French plaintiffs sued the Egyptian carrier Flash Airlines in France. Have a look at the Warsaw Convention of 1929 (research the text on the internet). Identify the liability rules for damage sustained in the event of the death and, separately, the clause that would justify French jurisdiction over the case. It is logical so the suing process started in France: biggest number of dead and it is so according to the Warsaw Convention of 1929: convention for the unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air, signed at Warsaw on 12 October 1929 * It is an Agreement: It is a treaty between at least 2 States French and Egypt had signed the treaty but not yet ratified (process made by parliament). -------------------------------------------------
Article 17: Death injury of passengers:
The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of the death or wounding of a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger, if the accident which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.
Article 33 – Juridiction
1. An action for damages must be brought, at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the States Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or of its principal place of business, or where it has a place of business through which the contract has been made or before the court at the place of destination.
2. In respect of damage resulting from the death or injury of a passenger, an action may be brought before one of the courts mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article, or in the territory of a State Party in which at the time of the accident the passenger has his or her principal and permanent residence and to or from which the carrier operates services for the carriage of...
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