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Lost luggage: Can she sue Brussels Airlines in Small Claims Court?

August 22, 2013|By David Lazarus

Sharon traveled recently to Europe for a cruise. Unfortunately, her bags didn't keep pace. They were lost somewhere along the way by Brussels Airlines, and Sharon had to make do without luggage for the duration of her trip.

She wants to know if she can sue a foreign airline in U.S. Small Claims Court.

Good question. Small Claims Court is typically for matters falling under state jurisdiction, but it's not impossible to sue out-of-state entities.

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

In this case, Sharon might find it challenging to go after Brussels Airlines. The trick is getting papers served.

I looked around for a local office but didn't find one. That said, it turns out Brussels Airlines is owned by the German carrier Lufthansa. And guess what? They have offices all over the place, including at LAX.

So that's where I'd focus my small-claims firepower. For more, check out today's Ask Laz video.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

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