House of Lords dismisses blood-clot claims

Dec. 8, 2005 at 4:47 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The British House of Lords has denied victims of deep vein thrombosis the right to sue airlines for damages.

Eight claimants argued that British Airways failed to provide adequate notice that sitting in a cramped position for a long time can cause dangerous blood clots that can be fatal if they reach the brain or lungs, The Telegraph reported. DVT is believed to cause 500 to 1,000 deaths a year among airline passengers.

The Lords upheld an appellate ruling that the conditions causing a clot do not meet the terms of an accident under the Warsaw Convention.

John Smith, a member of Parliament who supported the plaintiffs, was critical of the decision.

"We believe they missed an opportunity to apply some common sense by bringing airlines in line with other passenger carriers," he said.

British Airways said it was pleased by the ruling. A spokeswoman said the airline will continue its policy of warning passengers of the need to get up and move around during long flights.

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