Former flight attendant sues Singapore Airlines for $1.3M after falling onboard

By Minh Long   February 15, 2024 | 03:30 pm PT
Former flight attendant sues Singapore Airlines for $1.3M after falling onboard
A Singapore Airlines aircraft. Photo courtesy of the airline
A Malaysian-Indian former flight attendant is suing Singapore Airlines for S$1.78 million (US$1.3 million) after he slipped and fell onboard a plane in 2019, resulting in spinal injuries.

The plaintiff has alleged that his former employer was negligent in ensuring a safe workplace.

Durairaj Santiran, who worked as a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines from 2016 to 2021, said he had noticed a patch of grease on the floor of the economy-class galley during a 17-hour flight from the U.S. city of San Francisco that was scheduled to land in Singapore on the evening of Sept. 6, 2019, according to The Straits Times on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old man born in Malaysia, now a customer care analyst in the Southeast Asian country, said some two hours and a half before landing, he slipped on the three-inch, colorless grease patch. He fell on his back, hitting his head on the floor, and later was diagnosed with a cervical disc prolapse that eventually prevented him from continuing work as a cabin crew member.

Therefore, he is seeking damages of S$1.29 million for the loss of future earnings, $$150,000 for future medical and transport expenses, and other sums of money for other losses and expenses.

He alleged the airline had failed to ensure that the floor of the aircraft was free of any substance that might cause him to slip, and failed to ensure there was a system of cleaning to keep the floors safe.

However, the airline stated his claim was invalid, illegitimate, and false. "The defendant treats this as a highly questionable claim which they are obliged to contest resolutely," the carrier’s lawyers said.

The lawyers disputed Durairaj’s claim, saying no such a grease patch existed and he instead fell in another part of the aircraft, Business Insider reported Wednesday.

Lawyers for Durairaj declined to comment on a case still being heard in court. Proceedings for his lawsuit are to be held over the next 10 days.

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