PHOTO: A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A320-214. (photo via Flickr/byeangel)
An Australian woman is suing China Eastern Airlines after a piece of luggage fell out of a plane’s overhead storage compartment and struck her in the head during a flight in March 2016, according to news.com.au.
The woman, identified as Kalisfena Egorova from Sydney, was traveling from Beijing, China, to Sydney with a stopover in Nanjing when the incident occurred. Egorova was in an aisle seat when a man putting luggage into the overhead compartment lost control of the bag and it fell on the woman’s head.
Not only does the woman claim that she now has a permanent dent on her forehead from the wheel of the travel bag, but she also reported suffering a concussion, a sore neck, persistent headaches, body dysmorphic disorder, depression, panic attacks and loss of income.
Last week, Egorova filed a formal complaint in Federal Court regarding the negligence of China Eastern Airlines during the incident. She claims that attendants didn’t speak English and did not answer her cries of pain.
She is now seeking more than $152,000 in damages.
“After [flight] MU727 landed at Nanjing International Airport, to ensure the passenger’s wellbeing, CEA cabin crew requested the local ground handling CEA staff to arrange an examination by the airport medical centre’s doctor,” a spokeswoman for China Eastern Airlines told news.com.au.
“The injured passenger was accompanied by CEA staff and [the passenger who dropped the bag] during the whole examination, and medical staff cleared her of any serious concern.”
“[Considering] Nanjing-Sydney flight time was a long-haul, 10-plus-hours flight, the doctor recommended the injured passenger to stay and have a follow-up at the hospital,” the spokeswoman continued. “She declined the recommendation and she decided to continue the flight back to Sydney.”
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In response, Egorova’s lawyer Thomas Janson spoke to news.com.au about how similar accidents happen often, but this was different due to the severity of injuries and a lack of response from the airline.
“Unfortunately, these are not uncommon occurrences, however, what makes this case substantially different from others is the degree of injury that Kalisfena has suffered and the lack of any real response from China Eastern Airlines to assist her to get life back on track,” Janson said.
“This has had enormous repercussions on her health and her perception of her appearance.”