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Airline passenger asks for $170,550 over spilled coffee

May 31, 2013|By Hugo Martin

A Texas woman who claims she was injured by spilled coffee on a Continental Airlines flight is suing for $170,550.

The suit by Lourdes Cervantes asks a U.S. District Court in Houston for a jury trial to seek damages against United Continental Holdings Inc., which took over when Continental merged with United Airlines.

In the suit, Cervantes said the incident took place on a flight from Madrid to Newark, N.J., with Houston as the ulimate destination.

She claims in the court document that a flight attendant was placing a hot cup of coffee on the seat-back tray in front of her when the passenger in the seat in front reclined, sending the coffee spilling onto her lap.

Cervantes said she suffered second-degree burns on the inner thighs, resulting in permanent scarring and disfiguration.

The suit cites the Montreal Convention of 1999, which makes carriers on international flights liable, under certain conditions, for injuries or deaths of passengers on such flights.

A spokeswoman for United Continental Holdings Inc. said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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