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A woman sues Korean Air for spilling coffee on her, accusing “negligence and carelessness”

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Korean Air has been sued by a female passenger who claims she sustained severe burns after hot coffee spilled on her during a flight.

Yanling Yu, a resident of Queens County, New York, has filed a civil lawsuit against Korean Air and the flight attendant who spilled coffee on her, seeking medical treatment and compensation for mental and physical damages for the burns she suffered during the flight, online media outlet Daily Beast reported on February 9.

According to the complaint, filed on February 5 in Queens County Supreme Court in New York, Yu was seated in seat 33B on Korean Air flight KE85 from New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Korea’s Incheon International Airport on October 8 last year when a flight attendant “spilled a cup of boiling hot coffee on her lap, causing serious injuries to her genital area.”

A passenger sued Korean Air for sustaining severe burn after its flight attendant spilled hot coffee on her. [Image captured from Korean Air website]

Accusing the airline and crew of “negligence, carelessness, and recklessness,” the complaint says Yu has become “sick, sore, and disabled”, adding that she “spent a lot of money for medical treatment and will have to spend more in the future to treat injuries, which she believes will be permanent.”

Yu’s lawyer, Victor Bota, said to the Daily Beast that Yu’s injuries are “serious” and that “Under the Montreal Convention, airlines operating international flights are strictly liable for injuries to passengers. Ms. Yu intends to hold the airline accountable for the injuries she suffered due to the negligence of the flight attendant.”

Yu is seeking “damages to be determined by the court, plus interest, legal fees, and such other and further relief as the court deems proper and just” in the lawsuit, according to the Daily Beast.

In 2014, a Korean-American passenger on a Korean Air flight from Incheon to New York filed a lawsuit for damages after being burned by coffee that a flight attendant accidentally spilled. In 2016, a Korean-American woman in her 40s on a Korean Air flight from Incheon to London was hospitalized for nine days after being burned by spilled coffee handed to her by a flight attendant.

BY NAKI PARK, HOONSIK WOO  [park.naki@koreadaily.com]