An Australian woman who sued Hawaiian Airlines claims to have been left with permanent scars when a stewardess spilled a cup of hot boiling tea on her lap and offered no help afterwards.
Dimity Plaister, 47, from the Gold Coast, was flying from Brisbane to Honolulu for a 10-day vacation in April 2017.
But his plans for an idyllic vacation turned into a nightmare when a member of the cabin crew accidentally knocked over the cardboard cup from Mrs Plaister's table as he passed a carton of milk.
Hot black tea fell into Ms Plaister's knees, burning her skin and saturating her clothes.
Represented by Shine's lawyers, Ms. Plaister filed a compensation claim with the Brisbane federal court, claiming that the accident left her with burns in the hip, thigh and buttocks, scars permanent and an aggravation of anxiety and depression.
According to court documents, Mrs Plaister immediately declared to the cabin crew what had happened, but "he was not offered any medical treatment or assistance from the cabin crew to dry his knees or alleviate pain".
"Following the accident, the applicant suffered burns in the hip, thigh and buttocks, as well as psychological injuries," the statement said.
"Ms. Plaister was unable to enjoy the 10-day vacation booked and paid for in Honolulu due to her symptoms and restrictions resulting from her injuries."
Ms. Plaister is claiming damages not specified by Hawaiian Airlines under the Montreal Convention, the global treaty governing the liability of airlines to passengers on international flights.
The legal travel lawyer Sean Sweeney, of Shine's lawyers, said that wounds caused by spills of hot drinks are becoming more frequent.
"We are receiving a growing number of requests from travelers with sunburn wounds, which is a real problem in the aviation industry," Sweeney told news.com.au.
"Air carriers are required to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers on board and should take proactive measures to stop airborne burns.
"We welcome airline discussions on the steps that could be taken to further protect the safety of people on board."
The case was briefly mentioned in court yesterday, where Judge Roger Derrington updated it until next week.
News.com.au contacted Hawaiian Airlines for comment.
It is not uncommon for passengers to sue the airlines after pouring hot drinks mid-flight.
A Ryanair passenger received over $ 15,000 in damages in May 2017 after being burned by the hot tea he accidentally spilled on a flight from Prague to Dublin in 2016.
The woman successfully claimed that the flight attendant who served her hot drink had not adequately secured the lid, and jumped out when the passenger lifted her.
Also in 2017, a woman from New York sued JetBlue after suffering third-degree burns on her backside on a flight to Las Vegas.
He claimed to be in "excruciating pain" after the accident, which happened when he accidentally bumped his coffee table and overturned the cup of tea that a stewardess had "filled to the brim".