Justice Oke Lawal
Feb 21, 2016 – Nigerian Judge Oke Lawal & Husband Sue Air France-KLM Over Missing Luggage, Airline Seeks Out Of Court Settlement
Mrs Oke Lawal, a Lagos State High Court judge and her husband, Chief Bayo Lawal, have sued Air France-KLM at a Federal high court in Lagos, western Nigeria over breach of contract of carriage by air.
The couple is claiming the sum of N30 million being compensation for anguish and mental distress both of them suffered as a result of the breach of the contract.
In a statement of claim filed before the court on behalf of the couple by Osaro Eghobamien (SAN), the plaintiffs alleged that they boarded the defendants’ passenger aircraft, Flight AF3849 from Lagos to Paris on 23 July, 2015 and then from Paris to Florence on Flight AF1066.
At the point of embarkation in Lagos, they duly checked in a total of three pieces of Registered Luggage with the Airline, two belonging to the Judge, whilst the remaining one contained personal effects of the husband and other valuables.
However, at the point of disembarking on arrival in Italy on 24 July, only two pieces belonging to the Judge were delivered. Chief Lawal discovered that his own luggage was lost or had been converted by servants of the Airline working in the course of their employment. The airline was immediately alerted.
The following day a staff of the Airline brought a luggage to their hotel, but the wrongly tagged luggage was not his own.
Consequently, the staff left with the baggage with a promise that he will do everything possible to deliver his luggage as soon as possible.
Thereafter on 26 July, 2015 they departed to Florence, Paris and further to London. The Judge checked in two pieces of luggage but upon arrival in London on the same day it was discovered, much to Mrs Lawal’s shock and chagrin that the airline had failed to deliver the two pieces of her Luggage. A formal complaints was subsequently lodged with the airline.
Subsequently, a smaller luggage was deliver to the Judge three days later in Kent while the larger suitcase was delivered to her five days later.
On 29 July, 2015, Chief Lawal averred that he was contacted by an unidentified person on the internet, claiming to be in possession of his luggage.
It was assumed that this individual had apparently broken into his luggage, and was able to orally identify the contents thereof including his iPad, and sensitive drug medication.
He then advised the individual to return the luggage to the airline. Thereafter, he informed the airline about this development. Nonetheless the airline has not been able to deliver his luggage.
In spite of the complaints about the action of the Air France-KLM his luggage was not found.
The plaintiffs are claiming general damages in the sum of N30 million and 2,871 British pounds sterling for the lost luggage and content thereof.
The are also urging the court to declare that Air France was negligent, and its action amounts to a breach of contract and willful misconduct.
Air France-KLM is making frantic effort to settle the matter out of court.
Consequently, Justice Saliu Seidu has adjourned till 21 of March, 2016 for report of settlement or hearing.