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easyJet settles legal case after failing to identify passenger having stroke

13 Aug 2019

Legal action taken against easyJet for failure to provide assistance

On 14 April 2017, 88 year old British Citizen, Keith Tarry (DOB: 25/06/1929), was due to travel from his home in Palma, Majorca, to Sussex to visit his family.

Mr Tarry’s daughter, Lauren Tarry, arranged a flight for him with easyJet airlines.

Mr Tarry’s daughters were due to meet him at Southend Airport. After a long delay he was brought through arrivals in a wheelchair (he was not usually wheelchair bound) by the special assistance team. He was unable to stand or speak. His daughters concerned immediately telephoned an ambulance who arrived promptly. Mr Tarry was taken to Southend Hospital where he was found to have been suffering from a stroke. Due to the amount of time that had passed since the initial symptoms it was appropriately decided that it was not possible to intervene.

Mr Tarry’s daughters complained to easyJet and requested that they investigate the incident. easyJet found that upon arrival at the aircraft in Majorca, Mr Tarry was uncommunicative. The flight attendant was concerned about him and brought him a glass of water but none of it was drunk. They also asked some other passengers to keep an eye on him. Upon arrival at Southend Airport Mr Tarry was unable to stand or communicate. Special assistance boarded the plane, moved Mr Tarry into a wheelchair, and took him to his daughters in arrivals. At no point was medical assistance called.

In a complaint response letter easyJet stated “Unfortunately, despite their training, the cabin crew onboard did not identify that your father was displaying any signs of a stroke and consequently did not take action in response. easyJet regrets that cabin crew did not seek to contact you or your sister or have a ground and/or special assistance agent do so……we at easyJet are very sorry that we did not reach the standards you would expect of us on this occasion.”

After his stroke Mr Tarry was confined to a nursing home in Worthing, West Sussex and he was unable to ever return to his home in Majorca.

Mr Tarry’s daughters brought legal proceedings against Easyjet Airline Company Limited alleging that medical assistance should have been sought before the aircraft departed Majorca, and that with timely medical intervention Mr Tarry would have made a much better recovery from his stroke. The case was settled for £165,000 and approved by the High Court on 25 June 2019.

Ben Davey of Dean Wilson Solicitors who brought the claim said “All crew members of an aircraft are trained in first aid, including to recognise the signs of stroke. There have been well publicised ‘FAST’ campaigns stressing the importance of timely medical intervention in respect to strokes and it was a real shame that this did not happen with Mr Tarry. I am pleased that after over two years of fighting for their Dad that the family finally have some closure over the matter. I hope that easyJet have reflected on the incident and have taken appropriate steps to ensure that this never happens again.”  

Dean Wilson Solicitors acted for the family throughout the legal claim under a conditional fee agreement (no win no fee style). The team can be contacted on 01273 249200 for any enquiries.

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