Home News & Events TRAVEL & TOURISM LAW NEWS: Carrier's Liability Limited per Passenger for Loss of Luggage

TRAVEL & TOURISM LAW NEWS: Carrier's Liability Limited per Passenger for Loss of Luggage

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:28

The German Ciivil Court on 15 March, 2001 has established that a carrier's liability with regards to lost checked baggage is applicable per each passenger rather than per each baggage.

On August 31, 2008, plaintiff travelled together with her husband on a Frankfurt/Main flight to Malaga, operated by the defandant carrier. Upon arrival she discovered that her golf bag which was a checked-in baggage, was lost. She claimed that the bag did not only contain her very own golf equipment but also that of her husband who had assigned his claims to her. She sued for a compensation from the carrier which in total exceeded the amount of the limit contemplated under Article 22 para. 2 of the Montreal Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air.

AG Rüsselsheim as Court of First Instance granted the amount of the limit so contemplated and dismissed the excess claim. The Appelate Court (LG Darmstadt) confirmed this decision.

Upon further appeal, the German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) repealed the judgement. On 15 March, 2011, the BGH held that claims for compensation for lost checked baggage under the Montreal Convention did not depend on a baggage voucher issued upon check in. Furthermore, according to the wording of Article 22 of the Montreal Convention, the liabilty limit for lost baggage applied per passenger rather than per checked piece of luggage. Should one passenger therefore put personal belongings in the luggage of another passenger who would have checked-in the said luggage with a carrier, both passengers had a claim up to the limit so contemplated.

  • AG Rüsselsheim - Case of 5 November 2009 - 3 C 1216/08 (32)
  • LG Darmstadt - Case of 16 June 2010 - 7 S 225/09
  • BGH judgment of March 15, 2011 – X ZR 99/10

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