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Singapore Airlines Sued for $1.2 Million by Flight Attendant Injured on Airbus A350.

Local sources say that a Singapore Airlines cabin crew member has sued the company for 1.2 million dollars because they say they slipped and fell on a flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN). Sources from CNA say that the case is still going on and will likely continue today.

The Incident
The action relates to an event on September 5, 2019, when a crew member claimed Singapore Airlines did not offer a safe work environment in the galley of the A350-900 operating SFO-SIN. The crew member claimed that the airline had failed to properly avoid the slip-and-fall mishap on the trip to SIN by ignoring a grease spot.

The crew member, Deurairaj Santiran, said in court that he discovered the grease spot in the Singapore Airlines A350’s economy-class galley during the plane’s preparation for takeoff by cabin cleaners. It is said that Santiran informed his boss, who gave the order to clear the grease patch before leaving. But Santiran claims that after many attempts to fix the patch failed, the cabin crew was told to work around it.

After a 17-hour trip, Deurairaj will eventually fall backward, almost two hours before arrival. Even though the injury wasn’t widely reported at the time, Deurairaj needed a wheelchair to help him get off the aircraft. Deurairaj is requesting $1.2 million in compensation for lost pay resulting from his injury-related absence from work. From 2016 until 2021, Deurairaj worked as a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines.

Prior to publication, Singapore Airlines and the legal company defending it in court were unable to provide an answer. As for the airline, it uses the A350-900 to run two daily flights to SFO. In terms of distance, the flight is the fourth longest on the Singapore Airlines route network. In 2018, Singapore Airlines began offering the service to SFOs. With 187 economy-class seats, the twice-daily service made use of both an all-premium and regular long-haul cabin configurations. United Airlines also uses a 777-300ER and a 787-9 to serve this route.

Lawsuits involving flight attendants

Regretfully, injuries to cabin staff are neither new nor exclusive to Singapore Airlines. When United Airlines flight 1890 between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) encountered turbulence during landing, at least 16 people—passengers as well as crew—were hurt only yesterday in the United States. Nearer Singapore, on January 31, ANA flight 849 experienced turbulence that resulted in the injuries of two flight attendants as well.

Airlines and cabin personnel are frequently involved in lawsuits. The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair resolved a lawsuit in 2022 from a member of the cabin staff who had a back injury during a hard landing. In that instance, the cabin crew member asserted that the worn-out condition of the seat made it defective.

More recently, a court determined that the uniforms worn by four American Airlines flight attendants were contributing to their illness and granted damages. In that instance, it was discovered that Twin Hill, a defendant in the litigation, had laced the uniforms with formaldehyde.

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