Home » Articles » The Montreal Convention: Can Passengers Finally Recover for Mental Injuries?

The Montreal Convention: Can Passengers Finally Recover for Mental Injuries?

PDF · McKay Cunningham · Jul-20-2012 · 41 VAND. J. TRANSNAT'L L. 1043 (2008)

Since the 1920s, recovery for accidents suffered on international flights has been subject to the Warsaw Convention’s limitation of “bodily injury.”  To address perceived inequities stemming from this limitation, some courts invoked a liberal interpretation of the phrase “bodily injury,” and the resulting and fragmented judicial precedent threatened the treaty’s goal of international uniformity.  Although Warsaw’s long-awaited replacement, the Montreal Convention, retains the “bodily injury” language, a close study of the treaty’s history and, more importantly, the negotiations among the signatories’ delegates suggests that the great majority of nations intended to broaden the allowable recovery beyond strict bodily injury and that many had in fact already interpreted the phrase to include mental injury.  Furthermore, the policy informing the new treaty substantively changed from protecting the airline industry to protecting the passenger.

As a result, courts faced with claims under the Montreal Convention must undertake a materially different analysis from those courts that addressed similar claims under the Warsaw Convention.




Leave a Reply

ExpressO Top 10 Law Review

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2014-2015 Annual Award Winners.

Read the Journal’s latest issue (Vol. 48 No. 1) here.

Video is now available from the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law‘s latest symposium, This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters. Watch them here.

We are pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Board of Editors.

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law mourns the death of its founder, Professor Harold G. Maier.

Explore Other Vanderbilt Law Resources