Eastern Airlines, Inc. v. Floyd, 499 U.S. 530 (1991)


On May 5, 1983, an Eastern Airlines flight departed from Miami, bound for the Bahamas. Shortly after takeoff, one of the plane’s three jet engines lost oil pressure. The flight crew shut down the failing engine and turned the plane around to return to Miami. Soon thereafter, the second and third engines failed due to loss of oil pressure. The plane began losing altitude rapidly, and the passengers were informed that the plane would be ditched in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, after a period of descending flight without power, the crew managed to restart an engine and land the plane safely at Miami International Airport. 872 F.2d 1462, 1466 (CA11 1989).


Respondents, a group of passengers on the flight, brought separate complaints against petitioner, Eastern Airlines, Inc. (Eastern), each claiming damages solely for mental distress arising out of the incident.


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Useful for

Damages not available for purely mental injuries under Article 17

Treaty provisions considered

Article 17 WC29

Warsaw Convention 1929

Legislation considered

None identified.

Key subjects or concepts

Mental Injury/