Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Thirsty passenger who sued Emirates over lack of water loses court case

Australian Lina Di Falco claims she fainted and fell during a flight from Melbourne to Dubai

Lina Di Falco, pictured at the Old High Court building in Melbourne, faces huge legal fees after losing her claim against Emirates. James Ross / EPA-EFE
Lina Di Falco, pictured at the Old High Court building in Melbourne, faces huge legal fees after losing her claim against Emirates. James Ross / EPA-EFE

An Australian woman who claimed a lack of water on an Emirates Airline flight led to her collapse has lost a court battle against the airline.

Lina Di Falco, 54, had said the company was responsible for her fainting and hurting her ankle on a flight from Melbourne to Dubai.

She further claimed the incident led to the breakdown of her marriage in a compensation case that Victorian Supreme Court dismissed on Tuesday.

Because of the accident, I couldn’t be ... the wife that he married

Lina Di Falco

Ms Falco faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential legal costs after Justice Jacinta Forbes found Emirates had no liability.

Ms Di Falco had earlier rejected an offer from barrister John Ribbands, who represented Emirates, to resolve the case early, Australian Associated Press news agency reported on Tuesday.

The case relates to a flight the city council employee took on March 2015.

Ms Di Falco said she was given just one glass of water with her meal more than an hour after the plane took off.

She claimed to have asked for water four times before getting up to go to the bathroom and felt dizzy and like she was going to vomit.

Ms Di Falco said she fainted and hurt her ankle, describing the pain as nearly 10 out of 10, AAP reported.

Emirates' legal team said the plane had a water fountain that she could have used if needed.

The court heard Ms Di Falco continued on her holiday and when she returned to Australia was told her ankle was broken. She underwent surgery and was off work for more than two months.

“It’s always aching ... since the accident,” Ms Di Falco claimed. She said she could no longer do things she loved such as gardening and exercise.

She became withdrawn from friends and said her marriage broke down because of the injury.

“Because of the accident, I couldn’t be ... the wife that he married,” Ms Di Falco said.

Justice Forbes invited Emirates' lawyers to make submissions on legal costs to the court.

Updated: October 15, 2019 01:38 PM

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