Supreme court rules non-monetary losses are recoverable under Montreal Convention

22 August, 2022

Can courts award compensation under the Montreal Convention for non-monetary damages sustained following the late arrival of passengers’ baggage? Or does Article 29 of the Montreal Convention limit the liability of airlines to monetary damages caused by the delay?

This topic, that has been the cause of contradictory rulings in the lower courts – has now been resolved by the Supreme Court.

On June 14, 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court affirmed the District Court’s ruling, awarding the plaintiffs compensation for mental anguish in addition to compensation for monetary damages resulting from the delay in the arrival of their baggage.

In its decision, the Supreme Court focused on Article 19 and Article 29 of the Montreal Convention. The Supreme Court held that the term “damage” in Article 19 is not restricted to a certain type of damage, and therefore applies to all damages, including non-monetary damages.

Additionally, the Supreme Court held that the overriding purpose for compensation for mental anguish, and other non-monetary losses, is restitution.

Therefore, mental anguish is not “other non-compensatory damages” that are not recoverable in accordance with Article 29 of the Montreal Convention, and mental anguish can be compensated under the Montreal Convention.

However, although compensation for mental anguish can be awarded under the Montreal Convention, all compensations, for monetary and non-monetary damages as one, are bound to the limits of liability set forth in the Montreal Convention and cannot exceed the Special Drawing Rights specified in the Montreal Convention.

For further information on this topic please contact us:

Hanital Belinson Navon, and Roy Masuri.

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