29 April 2005

Kenya: Airline Ordered to Pay Don

Nairobi — The High Court in Nakuru yesterday ordered Emirates Airlines to pay a university lecturer and his son over Sh900,000 for breach of contract.

Justice Daniel Musinga ruled that the airline failed to transport the lecturer to the United Kingdom to visit his wife.

The judge, termed the treatment accorded to the lecturer cruel and uncivil and ordered the airline to pay Sh971,152 as damages and the cost of the suit. Dr Daniel Chebutuk Rotich, a lecturer at Moi University, Eldoret, had sued the airline for failing to transport him and his son to Britain.

Rotich, through lawyer Ochieng Ghai, further accused the airline of confiscating their passports and confining them in a tiny room for over 12 hours.

He claimed that he was traveling to Manchester with his 11-month-old son, Morgan Kimaset.

He said they boarded the plane from Nairobi to Manchester via Dubai on July 8, 2001.

"On reaching Dubai Airport at around midnight, the defendant's agents confiscated our passports and boarding passes and denied us entry to a connecting flight to Manchester," he claimed. Emirates claimed that the plaintiff failed to ensure that his son had a valid visa for entry into the UK.

In his ruling, Justice Musinga said the airline violated the plaintiffs' rights.

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