Monday, November 11, 2013

Andrews v. United Airlines case brief

Andrews v. United Airlines case brief summary
24 F.3d 39 (9th Cir. 1994)

Plaintiff passenger challenged a judgment from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that granted defendant airline's motion for summary judgment in a suit in plaintiff alleged she sustained personal injuries when a briefcase fell from an airplane's overhead compartment.


Plaintiff passenger was injured when a briefcase fell out of an overhead compartment in one of defendant airline's planes and landed on her. In her negligence suit, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the judgment. 
  • The court ruled that based upon plaintiff's evidence, defendant had received numerous complaints about objects falling from the overhead compartments, and a genuine issue of material fact existed on whether defendant had a duty to do more than merely warn its passengers about the dangers of such falling objects. 
  • The court reasoned that given its prior notice of the falling objects, coupled with increased carry-on luggage, the issue of whether defendant took sufficient precautions in discharging its duty as a common carrier to protect its passengers warranted a trial.

The court reversed a judgment that granted defendant airline summary judgment in plaintiff passenger's personal injury suit. A genuine issue of material fact existed on whether defendant had a duty to do more than merely warn passengers, such as plaintiff, about the possibility of items falling from overhead compartments.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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