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Germany / Federal Court of Justice / X ZR 138/11

Man v Airline company

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Federal Court of Justice
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The plaintiff sued an airline company for compensation according to Articles 7 (1) c and 5 (1) of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004. The plaintiff had booked return tickets from Düsseldorf to Miami. As a result of a strike by a German airline pilots union, the plaintiff's return flight was cancelled and she was rebooked to a flight three days later. The plaintiff’s claim was successful at the Cologne Local Court (Amtsgericht). The plaintiff was granted compensation. The Cologne Regional Court dismissed the appeal by the respondent on grounds of law and fact. The Regional Court reasoned that a union strike by the employees of an airline company forms part of the company’s operating risk; the general occurrence of strikes is foreseeable and thus does not amount to “extraordinary circumstances”.