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Feb 12, 2009

They did not get their glatt food, and she fainted..

An interesting lawsuit - a rav and his wife flew from Israel to the US and back on Israir Airlines. They ordered the "special kosher" glatt meal for their trip On the return trip, they were told that their names were not on the glatt meal list and therefore there were no meals for them.

When they got off the plane, the rebbetzin fainted, fell backwards hurting herself in the process, her sheitel fell off, and her dress became disheveled in a way that revealed her immodestly.

For their pain, embarrassment and discomfort, they sued the airline for 17,800 NIS.

Israirs defense was that they are under no obligation to provide glatt meals, along with the fact that the couple could have eaten the regular kosher and not fast for the duration of the flight. As well, her falling down and hurting herself happened after the flight while not on their plane, so they are not responsible for it. And they said the amount claimed is ridiculous being nearly double the price of a round trip ticket.

The courts rejected the defense saying that they have no right to change a persons meal in the middle of the flight, so they cannot claim that they should have eaten the regular kosher. Israir had no right to put them in the dilemma of choosing to eat something they do not approve of. Also, the agreement to provide glatt meals seems to be a contractual agreement entered upon the purchase of the ticket with the glatt meal requested. Israir did not show that they have no such obligationto provide the requested meal. And even though the injury came from a fall after the flight, it is clear it was a direct result of the flight itself, and therefore Israir is liable.

They were only awarded 3000NIS plus court costs, and not the full some requested.

It is good to see the courts defend the religious rights of the passengers, and not let Israir get away with it. It is a ridiculous claim that they were not obligated to provide the requested meal - if they agreed to it as part of the flight, they have to provide it, and that they should have eaten the other food. if they do not eat it for religious reasons, that is their right to choose, and Israir has no right to say otherwise.

Usually, people bring food along knowing you cannot rely on the airline. Anyways often the food is not very good, so you need to have other food available. It is good to see that they would not let the airline get away with it. Maybe now the airline will take it more seriously.

(source: Ynet)

16 comments:

  1. SHE FAINTED WHY? NO JUICE OR CRACKERS WERE SERVED?

    while israeli air agreed to serve her glatt, was there NOTHING she could have eaten to dispel her hunger? no vegetarian or fish or dairy meal available? something sounds fishy to me......

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  2. obviously most of the details of the story are missing, but if they owed her a glatt meal, they had to give it to her. Maybe that is why they only were awarded 3000 instead of 18000... and I guess the courts did not find that eating crackers is a reasonable alternative to the ordered glatt meal

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  3. another ridiculous lawsuit.

    this all started with the lawsuit against Mcdonalds for serving coffee that was TOO HOT.

    Ridiculous.

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  4. On principle it's a good decision although in terms of the actual nezek it's very hard to show that the fainting clearly was the result of the food - people faint for all kinds of reasons and not eating for 12 hours isn't so extreme as to establish certainty. Some people faint from other flight related issues so it seems to me a very nightmarish precedent for the airlines.

    Don't forget that in halachah, hamotzi mehavero alav haraiya so it's really not poshut that they should be getting money for that particular injury. It might even be osur to take the money.

    Also, gramma - indirect causation - is potur in nezikin so I can't see how al pi halachah the claim could be upheld.

    Just thinking aloud...

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  5. i once had a lab instructor who gave us problems making up a disection we missed because of a chag. "i'm jewish but i'll be here, so why can't you come" she asked. i wanted to tell her that when she gets semicha she can pasken for me, but until then my rav tells me not to come to school on the chag. i hate it when non-religous people pasken for me.

    so on one level i'm glad the court put the airline in its place. who are they pasken and to say she should have eaten non-glatt.

    on the other hand she's an idiot. healthy people don't faint because they didn't eat for 12 hours. now if she was not healthy (e.g., diabetic) and fasted, then it is her fault for putting her life at risk. and even if she couldn't eat the meat part of the meal, what about the rest of it (no glatt issues)? or snacks?

    and the court is an idiot also.
    a) go proove she fainted because she fasted
    b) why is israir *obligated* to provide her with a specific meal? (where is this in the fine print on the ticket?)
    c) her meal didn't cost NIS 3k

    incindenally, i switched my recent flight to an earlier flight with only 3 hours to spare. they couldn't reserve me a special meal, but they did have extra kosher meals and they gave me one. on the other hand the enterainment system was broken (and one reason i was looking foward to the flight was the 300 movies on demand). maybe i should sue.

    -LOZ

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  6. btw, after my recent fligh i'm all for el al's mehadrin flights

    --LOZ

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  7. what hapened on your flight? or do you not want your wife to know??? :-)

    obviously the article is short on details, and if the court awarded him 3000 it is not just for the price of a meal, or that would have had to be a pretty good steak! I guess the meal is part of the contractual obligation. I never read the fine print on the ticket when I flew, but maybe somewhere in the purchase arrangement, the meal orderd is mentioned as part of the contract. if they are not obligated to provide any meal, how can they be sued for glatt?

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  8. The last time I flew Arkia they showed an anti-religious movie portraying hareidim as vicious and narrow minded and that included explicit lesbian content between seminary girls. If goyim showed this it would be a big deal and the ADL would go nuts, but if it's Israelis nobody cares. Israeli airlines claim to be "Jewish" but are basically Jewish in name only. Not much of a kiddush Hashem to the world huh?

    I take their side here given the context of anti-religious bias shown by the airlines. If it were not for hareidi protests and anger (and me being M.O.) there would be no Judaism or kosher food on our airlines at all anymore, I truly believe.

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  9. There is a concept in contract law called הקטנת הנזק- if Israir breached their contract, the woman nevertheless has the obligation to minimize any damage that results from the breach. I would think that eating other foods would fall in this category.

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  10. maybe that is why she was awarded less than requested?

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  11. I think what would be even more funny is when they find out that the super duper kosher food was really traifa catfood! So much for trusting everyone! What do you think Monsey, NY?

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  12. It's a ridiculous lawsuit and the airline was silly for letting it go that far. Most airlines have a customer relations dept to deal with this stuff.

    It happned to me once. I wrote to their Cust Service dept, they sent me a nice letter of apology along with a $200 voucher for my next flight. End of story.

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  13. Anyone noticed how YNet has a habit of running anti-hareidi stories over Shabbos, when the hareidim can't respond to their stupid talkbackers?

    One "chochom" claims that she should have eaten everything except the meat - sigh . . .

    I think a lawsuit for fainting is going too far. A lawsuit against a meal I understand though - happens all the time and the airlines just don't care.

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. "and not the full some requested"
    should read "and not the full sum requested".

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  16. We live in such an age of compensation claims, people have forgotten to take any personal responsibility.
    I find it hard to believe that there was absolutely nothing that this woman could eat on the plane, not even a can of coke or orange juice. With a bit of effort, I'm sure she could have found something to eat. And if her kashrut requirements are going to be so strict, then she should always travel with her own food.
    It's behaviour like this that makes people lose patience with 'frummers'.

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