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 An overhead luggage bin was suddenly open during turbulence and a heavy piece of luggage fell and injured Ms. Lucky, an American student studying in Delhi.



When the airplanes become filled to capacity, there are also more passengers who need to utilize the overhead storage for their carry-on luggage. The shrinking legroom and the reduction in seat size has also made it nearly impossible for travelers to slot their carry-on bags under the seat in front of them.

As a result, the battle for overhead storage space has never been fiercer, and when those compartments are stuffed to capacity, any turbulence during a flight can shift the luggage.

This American student (passenger) Ms. Lucky has faced similar situation due to the turbulence and she will be compensated by the airline due to the following reasons.

Almost similar situation faced by a man who was traveling on a stationary British Airways plane in 2015, when a piece of luggage tumbled out of the overhead locker and struck him on the head.In fact, one witness said that the “overhead locker burst open and a heavy-duty bag landed on his head. There was a terrible sound on impact and he collapsed. It was a freak accident.”

If we consider Ms. Lucky case then as the paragraph 2 article 17 of Montreal convention and Warsaw convention article 17, 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.

In this case, Ms. Lucky had to prove that the accident was not due to his negligence and it does not have any relation with turbulence which was going on due to bad weather conditions. Since the turbulence is expected to happen during bad weather condition, the airline can defend itself but since it left body injury to the passenger, the airline will be liable for the accident.

As the flight was international flight, the passenger can go for Montreal convention of 1999 and claim 100,000 SDR (Special Drawing Right) which is the maximum amount of liability she can be paid. If there is any proof of her negligence can result in the reduction of the amount to be paid to her.