Supreme Court Ruling versus Huzar & Thomson v’s Dawson 31st October 2014

31 October 2014

The Supreme Court has today (31 Oct) announced its decision on three applications for permission to appeal of particular public interest, highlighted below. Each of these decisions was made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

1. Limited (Appellant) v Huzar (Respondent) and Thomson Airways Limited (Appellant) v Dawson (Respondent)

The Supreme Court has refused applications by and Thomson Airways to appeal the Court of Appeal of England and Wales’ decisions in two cases about the airlines’ liability to pay compensation after travel delays.

The legal issues at stake were (in the Jet 2 appeal) whether an unforeseeable technical problem resulting in a delayed flight amounts to “extraordinary circumstances” for the purposes of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004; and (in the Thomson appeal) whether the applicable limitation period for bringing a claim for compensation under Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 is 2 years, pursuant to the Montreal Convention, or 6 years, pursuant to the Limitation Act 1980.

The Supreme Court has declined to hear either airline’s appeal and the Court of Appeal judgment in each matter therefore stands:

The substantive text of the Supreme Court’s Order reads:

“The Court ordered that permission to appeal be refused in Thomson because the application does not raise an arguable point of law; [and] permission to appeal be refused in


because the application does not raise a point of law of general public importance and, in relation to the point of European Union law said to be raised by or in response to the application, it is not necessary to request the Court of Justice to give any ruling, because the Court’s existing jurisprudence already provides sufficient answer.”

For the avoidance of doubt unforeseen technical problems cannot be considered as extraordinary circumstances for the purpose of deciding compensation matters under EU 261 / 2004 and the l imitation period for bringing such claims in the UK is set at 6 years.

We therefore resubmit the attached for your consideration and ask that you also respond to Airclaim directly, as authorised, wherein a consensual relationship created by contract or by law where one party, the principal, grants authority for another party, the agent, to act on behalf of and under the control of the principal to deal with a third party. An agency relationship is fiduciary in nature, and the actions and words of an agent exchanged with a third party bind the principal.

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