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Deep Vein Thrombosis

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek amendments to the Warsaw Convention to permit claims for compensation by air travellers who suffer deep vein thrombosis. [130975]

The Warsaw Convention will be subject to no further amendment or reform. The 1999 Montreal Convention, which is due to come into force internationally later this year, will consolidate, update and eventually replace all previous international agreements on air carrier liability, including the 1929 Warsaw Convention.The purpose of the Warsaw Convention is to cover risks inherent to travelling by air, not damage occurring co-incidentally while in flight. For this reason, claimants must show that an "accident" had occurred. This question has been considered by the English High Court within the context of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and it concluded that such an occurrence does not fall within the accepted understanding of an "accident". I believe the legal framework for establishing liability to be satisfactory and that it is for the courts to decide specific cases within that framework.