Singapore Airlines offers compensation to passengers injured by severe turbulence

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

HONG KONG — Singapore Airlines has offered compensation to passengers hurt last month during a flight that encountered severe turbulence, which resulted in dozens of injuries and one death.

Passengers who sustained minor injuries have each been offered $10,000 in compensation, while those who suffered more serious injuries have been invited to discuss an offer, the carrier said Tuesday in a Facebook post.

“Passengers medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care, and requesting financial assistance are offered an advance payment of US$25,000 to address their immediate needs,” the airline wrote. “This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive.”

In addition, all passengers on the May 20 flight SQ321 from London to Singapore will be refunded the cost of their tickets, it added.

The Boeing 777-300ER was about 10 hours into its flight and midway through the meal service when it hit turbulence while flying over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin.

Geoff Kitchen, a 73-year-old British man, died from a suspected heart condition, according to Thai officials. The aircraft was diverted to Bangkok following the incident.

Singapore-based broadcaster Channel News Asia reported last week that around 10 passengers remained in a Thai hospital more than two weeks after the flight. Two or three had been flown home in air ambulances.

The Advertiser, an Australian newspaper, reported on Sunday that one of the passengers, Kerry Jordan, has been left paralyzed from the chest down.

Data from aviation tracking site FlightRadar24 showed the flight suddenly dipping and then rapidly climbing a few hundred feet, then dipping and climbing again, before finally settling back at its cruising altitude. The entire disruption lasted about 90 seconds, according to the data.

Turbulence occurs when a plane flies through clashing bodies of air moving at widely different speeds.

Flight SQ321 likely encountered rapidly developing thunderstorms over southern Myanmar during the time that extreme turbulence was reported, according to analysis by CNN Weather.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.