A United Airlines Boeing 787. JanValls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images A lawsuit says a 6-year-old girl was left scarred by a hot meal on a United Airlines flight in 2022. It alleges that a “defective” tray table caused the meal to fall onto the girl’s lap. It also accuses United of failing to properly train flight attendants to treat burn injuries.
Two parents are suing United Airlines, alleging their 6-year-old daughter was burned by a hot meal because of a faulty tray table. Michal and Ben Fefferman filed the lawsuit, which Business Insider has seen, in a Chicago court last Wednesday. It says the incident took place on a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Newark, New Jersey, in 2022.
The complaint says a flight attendant gave an “unreasonably hot” meal to the girl’s mother, who then placed it on her tray table. It says that “this particular tray table was defective, slanting downward toward the seat.” The suit says the meal slid off onto the 6-year-old’s lap. It added that she suffered “severe” burn injuries that have left her “scarred and disfigured.”
The suit says that the girl’s mother requested medical attention from the cabin crew but that the crew couldn’t help her properly as the plane didn’t have suitable supplies to treat burns. The lawsuit says the 6-year-old “suffered in extreme discomfort for the remainder of the 12-hour flight.”
It alleges that United didn’t properly train its flight attendants to safely provide hot meals to minor passengers or to respond to burn injuries. The Feffermans requested a jury trial for medical costs and unspecified damages over $75,000. Their case claims negligence as well as liability under the Montreal Convention, an international treaty stipulating that airlines are liable for any passenger injuries aboard an aircraft unless they can prove the passenger was negligent.
When reached by BI, United Airlines said it could not comment on pending litigation. Correction: February 13, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misspelled the parents’ surname. They are the Feffermans, not the Fettermans.