Joanita Wibowo

International Travel

Aussie woman sues Emirates claiming she was denied adequate water

Aussie woman sues Emirates claiming she was denied adequate water

A Melbourne woman has sued Emirates airline, claiming she collapsed after being denied adequate water on a long-haul flight.

54-year-old Lina Di Falco is suing the air carrier for damages after a serious injury on a 14-hour flight left her with constant ankle pain, AAP reported.

Di Falco told Victoria’s supreme court that she fainted and got her ankle broken on the March 2015 flight from Melbourne to Dubai after her repeated requests for water were disregarded.

Di Falco said she was given just one drink with her meal over an hour after the plane took off. Barrister John Ribbands, representing Emirates, told the court on Tuesday the plane had a water fountain for passengers’ use, but Di Falco said she did not see it.

She said she had asked for water four times before going to the bathroom, feeling dizzy and nauseous. She fainted and hurt her ankle on the way, causing pain that she described as nearly 10 out of 10.

Di Falco complained to Emirates that not enough refreshments had been given to the passengers, and that her Middle Eastern holiday was wasted because of her ankle injury.

After returning to Australia from her trip, the Moonee Valley City Council employee was told her ankle was broken. She underwent surgery and did not go to work for two months.

The passenger’s barrister, Ron Meldrum QC, said she had been an “adventurous” traveller who enjoyed dancing and skiing before the incident.

“It’s always aching ... since the accident,” Di Falco claimed. She said apart from no longer being able to exercise and garden, the injury also led her to withdraw from her friends and her marriage to break down.

“Because of the accident, I couldn’t be ... the wife that he married,” Di Falco said, explaining her frustrations due to her inability to keep up with domestic duties.

Di Falco said “the confidence I had for myself, it’s all gone” after the injury.

The trial is expected to continue today.