Last updated: 04:01 PM ET, Mon November 21 2016

Virgin Australia Being Sued for Spilling Coffee on Teenage Passenger

Impacting Travel Donald Wood November 21, 2016

Virgin Australia Being Sued for Spilling Coffee on Teenage Passenger

Photo: A Virgin Australia plane. (Photo via Virgin Australia)

A teenager is suing Virgin Australia Airlines after he suffered burns to his genitals and other areas from a coffee which was spilled on him during a flight last year.

According to, the 16-year-old boy—identified as Rhett Butler from Southeastern Australia—was on a Virgin Australia flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Sydney when the incident occurred.

Shortly after takeoff on the May 2015 flight, a member of the cabin crew who was carrying coffee on a tray dropped one of the containers onto the lap of Butler, who allegedly suffered burns, blisters and scarring to his thighs, groin, genitals and midriff.

According to a lawsuit filed in the County Court of Victoria, Butler's father, Brian Butler, was forced to provide medical assistance due to a lack of assistance from the flight attendants onboard. The family claims the tray table was defective.

While a Virgin Australia representative confirmed the incident, the airline would not provide any further details on the pending lawsuit.

“Virgin Australia takes the safety and comfort of our passengers extremely seriously, however given this particular matter has not yet been resolved it would not be appropriate to comment any further,” the Virgin Australia spokesperson said in a statement.