Key Decision for travellers killed or injured in accidents abroad
What happens when you are injured abroad, repatriated home and are still suffering injuries, can you bring your personal injury claim in the English Courts?
This situation recently came before the Supreme Court, which is the highest Court in the UK.
The case involved a road accident in Egypt in 2010, in which the claimant, Lady Brownlie, was seriously injured, and her husband, Sir Ian Brownlie, tragically killed when the car came off the road. Sir Ian’s daughter was also tragically killed, and her two children injured.
The road accident occurred during a safari excursion which Lady Brownlie had booked through the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. Lady Brownlie was claiming damages from the operator of the hotel in Egypt for her personal injuries; for Sir Ian’s wrongful death and for dependency for wrongful death.
The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether Lady Brownlie’s claims could be brought in English courts as opposed to in Egypt. (FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC (Appellant) v Brownlie (as Dependant and Executrix of Professor Sir Ian Brownlie CBE QC) (Respondent), UKSC 2020/0164 )
The key consideration was whether the ‘damage’ was sustained in England and Wales, as opposed to solely in Egypt. The Supreme Court found that Lady Brownlie’s ‘pain, suffering and physical injury were suffered sequentially, first in Egypt and then in England’ giving her the right to bring the claim in England but applying the law of Egypt.
This is an important decision (which has come from the highest Court, the Supreme Court) for claims involving travellers killed or injured in accidents abroad and the judgment clarifies the legal situation.
The judgment ensures those who are injured abroad have access to justice as they can bring the claim in their home jurisdiction and don’t have to be concerned about finding a foreign lawyer with the experience of dealing with these types of claim.
With any claim it is important to get specialist advice.