Widow obtains the right to sue the Cairo hotel in English courts | New
A woman whose husband died in a car accident while on vacation in Egypt has been granted Supreme Court leave to sue the hotelier in English courts, in a landmark ruling over claims involving travelers killed or injured in crashes at abroad.
The Supreme Court’s appeal concerns a road accident in Egypt in 2010 in which the plaintiff, Lady Brownlie, was seriously injured and her husband, international lawyer Sir Ian Brownlie, was killed. Sir Ian’s daughter was also killed when the car rolled off the road and his two children were injured.
The car accident happened while on a safari excursion Lady Brownlie had booked through the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo in Nile Plaza.
Lady Brownlie is now seeking damages from the hotel operator in Egypt, claiming damages under Egyptian law for her bodily injuries; for Sir Ian’s wrongful death and for the wrongful death addiction.
In FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC v Lady Brownlie, the Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether Lady Brownlie’s claims can be brought to English courts rather than Egypt. Under the rules of civil procedure, this involves establishing whether “damage” was suffered in England and Wales, as opposed to only in Egypt.
The court ruled that damages had been suffered in the competent jurisdiction, given that “Lady Brownlie’s pain, suffering and physical injuries had been suffered successively, first in Egypt and then in England”. Lord Lloyd-Jones added that excluding financial or physical consequences from the concept of damage is “unduly restrictive” in this context.
The court said that a broader interpretation of damages “does not give all plaintiffs in personal injury cases the right to sue in the jurisdiction of their residence,” Lord Lloyd-Jones said.
“The courts will be astute in determining whether the dispute has its closest connection with that jurisdiction and the principle of forum non conveniens will provide a strong and effective mechanism to ensure that claims that do not have their closest connection to this jurisdiction will not be accepted here ”. Lord Leggatt dissented on this issue.
Lady Brownlie was represented by London law firm Kinglsey Napley and FS Cairo was represented by international law firm Kennedys.
Terry Donovan, head of clinical negligence and personal injury at Kingsley Napley, said the judgment clarifies the legal position of English nationals who have been injured or killed in accidents abroad.
“Historically, English courts have tended to allow such cases to be heard here and this appeal to the Supreme Court was an attempt to shut the door. We say that not only did the Supreme Court in principle have the right to keep it open, but that it also provides access to justice in a sensible and practical way, ”he said.
“If it had been the other way around, widows like Lady Brownlie, or Englishmen paralyzed or brain injured in vacation or work accidents abroad, would have had to face the added challenges of finding a lawyer. foreigner and claim in a foreign system. “