Liberia: Court Finds SN Brussels Liable of US$500k in Damages
Monrovia – The Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice has entered judgment against the SN Brussels Airline. It held the airline liable to pay the damages of US$500,000 for wrong.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian,
The court’s ruling handed down during its December 2018 Term comes after a lawsuit was filed against the airline by a Liberian lawyer Moifee Kanneh.
In his lawsuit, Cllr. Kanneh alleged that in July 2015, he purchased a ticket from the airline to travel to the United States and back.
Cllr. Kanneh continued that after his travel to the States and upon his arrival back to the country via the Robert International Airport (RIA), he was told by the airline management that one of his luggage could not be found and that probably the missing luggage may have been placed on another flight therefore he should give the management few days to check with other connections to see how his luggage can be identified.
According to Cllr. Kanneh after several calls and conversations with the airline management, management designated its representative named only as Benedict and Benedict asked him to fill out a Buggage Inventory Form and make a full listing of the missing items which he did.
The Liberian lawyer further claimed he was also advised to file his complaint to the Customer Relation stating his complaint and was awaiting response and why awaiting the response wrote several reminder letters but received no positive response but was told that the airline will look into his matter.
Cllr. Kanneh further added that some of the items in the missing luggage belong to other people who had written him several letters expressing their disgust and questioning his hard-earned reputation.
“Plaintiff further says that the action of the defendant/management has caused him serious injury to his reputation and embarrassment to his character as a lawyer and statesman to extent that he is unable to move freely around Monrovia because every where he goes he is questioned about the missing luggage,” Cllr. Kanneh added in his compliant.
In his complaint, Cllr. Kanneh requested the court to hold the defendant/management liable in the amount of US$12,010 as special damages and US$1,000,000 as general damages.
Contrary to Kanneh’s claim, in his testimony to the court, the Country Manager of SN Brussel William Raccine told the court that each time a passenger of SN Brussel buys a ticket, he/she is given a general condition adding that the airline does not give general condition to customers but felt short to state whether he gave Cllr. Kanneh such condition.
The Country Manager of SN Brussels further stated in his testimony that he is new in his portfolio.
However, in his ruling in the case, Presiding Judge Yussif D. Kaba stated that Kanneh proved the general damages and established that the defendant is liable for the missing luggage.
Judge Kaba stated further that given the due consideration to the pleadings of the parties and taking note of the evidence established that the airline was liable to the plaintiff.
“The Court in consideration of the above facts hereby award general damages to the plaintiff in the amount of US$500,000 consistent with the jury findings; the clerk of this court is hereby ordered to prepare a bill of cost in this matter and thereafter prepare execution for the defendant to pay or cause to be paid the full amount as will be contained in the bill of cost.”
Judge Kaba’s ruling comes after denying the airline’s lawyers’ call for a new trial on grounds that the evidence produced in the case was contrary to the liable verdict rendered previously by the trial jury.