By J. Collin Spring

In Doe v. Etihad Airways, P.J.S.C., the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rewrote the test for mental anguish under the Montreal Convention to allow recovery with any physical injury, disregarding years of precedent establishing a universal interpretation that mental anguish must “flow from” a physical injury to be recoverable. Although the Sixth Circuit properly found that, on the facts of the case before it, the plaintiff could state a claim for mental anguish, the court unnecessarily rewrote an established test. In doing so, the court violated the presumption in favor of uniformity, impermissibly disregarded the interpretation of the United States’ co-signatory nations, and failed to account for the very purpose of the Montreal Convention—to bring the law of various nations into uniformity. Although the Supreme Court has already declined to grant certiorari, it should take the next possible opportunity to clarify the law and hold that the traditional interpretation is correct.

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Recommended Citation
J. Collin Spring, Note, Pilots Out of Uniform: How the Sixth Circuit’s Ethiad Decision Undermines the Purpose of the Montreal Convention, 84 J. Air L. & Com. 153 (2019).