Monrovia -- Brussels Airlines one of the foreign-owned passengers’ airlines doing business in the country has been dragged to court for damages.
The lawsuit now before the Civil Law Court awaiting hearing was filed by a woman, Winnifred George of the City of Monrovia.
Ms. George stated in her complaint that she is a Liberian citizen who was granted visa by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia in 2014 to travel to the United States for a one-month vacation with her aunt, father and other family members based on the advice of her physician at the time she was pregnant.
In her bid to travel to the U.S. she claimed to have purchased a round trip ticket from one of the agents of Brussels Airlines but close to the date of her trip she discovered that the ticket had an error with regard to the return date which surpassed the expiration date of the U.S. visa.
Having discovered the error, she continued that she was advised to correct the error before departure, either at the airlines’ main office on Ashmun Street or at the Sub- Office at the Robert’s International Airport.
She further alleged that at the time she contacted the airline she was assured that there would be no problem once the ticket was corrected and she paid the airline’s US$120.00 cost to have the ticket changed and rectified to the exact and correct date that she intended to return to Liberia.
According to her, Brussels Airlines issued her a new ticket with the understanding that all of the corrections were made not only in the issuance of a new and changed ticket but also that the same changes were made and effected in the airline database in relation to George’s entire itinerary.
She said in her complaint that to her amazement and astonishment upon arrival she was arrested, shackled, jailed and sent back to Liberia by the Customs and Border Patrol Officers at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on grounds that she had an itinerary to illegally remain in the United States beyond her visa’s expiration based on the information provided them through the airline database.
“As the result of the defendant’s alleged failure to act professionally (George) had her American visa cancelled with prejudice meaning that she could no longer travel to the U.S. with a bad non-immigration traveling record with the U.S. Embassy for which defendant (airline) must be held responsible and must be made to have George tainted record with the embassy purged and visa restored” George’s complaint filed through her counsel stated.
According to George, she entreated the airline on several occasions to have the issues resolved amicably but to no avail as the airline management has stated that it was in no way in the position to listen to her complaint thus leading to the action of damages for wrong.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing laws, facts and circumstances, complaint/plaintiff most respectfully prays your honor and the court to adjudge the defendant/ airline liable to pay to the plaintiff in the amount of US$1,187.00 as special damages to cover costs of ticket correction fee and general and punitive damages in the amount of US$1,000,000.00” said plaintiff’s lawyer Atty. Kundakai Jalieba but the airline is yet to respond to the claim.