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Posted: September 9th, 2022

Case Brief: Olympic Airways v. Husain case

LAW204 – Business Law I Briefing a Case Due Date: 11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday of Unit 1 Points: 100 Overview: In litigation, lawyers need to rely on case law to support the outcome they are asking the court take. Lawyers will often “brief” a case to obtain a better understanding of the case. In other words, lawyers will use a specific format to outline the most important points in a court’s decision. This activity will also assist you in understanding the cases discussed in this class. Instructions: • • • Listen to the oral arguments in the Olympic Airways v. Husain case. Read about the case. Read about how to brief a case. Using the template provided, complete a “brief” about the case, including the following: o Who are the parties to the case? o What is the citation of the case? o What are the basic facts of the case? o What did Dr. Hanson’s estate argue? o What did Olympic Air argue? o What did the court decide? o Did the court apply statutory law, case law or both in reaching its decision? Requirements: • • • Use APA format for non-legal sources such as the textbook. Use Bluebook citation format for any legal citations. o Include the resource to the case and oral arguments. o You do not need to use any sources other than your text and the audio recording of the oral arguments. Submit a Word document using the case brief template. Maximum two pages in length, excluding the Reference page. Be sure to read the criteria below by which your work will be evaluated before you write and again after you write. Evaluation Rubric for Briefing a Case Assignment CRITERIA Deficient 0 – 44 Points Case Brief Paper Length Clear and Professional Writing and APA/Bluebook Format Needs Improvement 45 – 59 Points Does not concisely and clearly answer questions about the case. Case brief is not succinct. 0 – 5 points More than 2 pages Somewhat concisely and clearly answers some questions about the case. Case brief is not overly succinct. 0 – 8 points 9 – 11 points Errors impede professional presentation; guidelines not followed. 6 – 7 points n/a Proficient Exemplary 60 – 74 Points Mostly concisely, succinctly, and clearly answers all questions about the case. 8 – 9 points n/a 75 Points 12 – 14 points Significant errors Few errors that do not that do not impede impede professional professional presentation. presentation. Concisely, succinctly, and clearly answers all questions about the case. 10 points 2 pages or less 15 points Writing and format are clear, professional, APA/Bluebook compliant, and error free. LAW204 – Business Law I Olympic Airways v. Husain Case Brief Who are the parties to the case? What is the citation of the case? What are the basic facts of the case? What Dr.1 Hanson’s Unit Assignment Case Brief Template estate argue? What did Olympic Air argue? What did the court decide? Did the court apply statutory law, case law or both in reaching its decision? References

-Sample Answer Guide-
Case Brief: Olympic Airways v. Husain case

Facts: In the year 1997, Dr. Hanson, his wife Rubina Husain, and their children traveled from San Francisco, California to Cairo, Egypt, via Athens, Greece. Dr. Hanson had a legal document provided by a physician, who is also his brother, of the preexisting condition- that is, Asthma. His condition prohibited him from exposure to second-hand smoke as it would lead to other injuries and possibly death. This allowed him to travel safely to Egypt. On his way back to the U.S. (1998), at the Cairo airport, Dr. Hanson identified to the authorities of his preexisting conditions and was assigned to a non-smoking section. In Athens, he was transferred to a connecting flight. In it, Dr. Hanson, through Rubina Husain, identified to Ms. Leptourgou, the flight attendant with Olympic Airways, on his condition. He was seeking to be moved to a non-smoking section of the plane. Ms. Leptourgou did not attend to Ms. Rubina’s plea and advised them that he was busy. They asked her three more times, but she ignored their pleas to move them. The smoking increased the severity of Dr. Hanson’s condition and prompted a chain of reaction within his body. Rubina called dr. Umesh Sabharwal (a friend to Dr. Hanson and Rubina, and also an allergy specialist), but his intervention failed to help. Dr. Hanson died shortly later. It was later discovered that the flight had 11 empty seats and an additional 28 non-revenue earning seats. (US DOJ, 2004) Dr. Umesh Sabharwal identified that Dr. Hanson died of respiratory-related conditions caused by smoking in the cabin.
Procedural History: Rubina Husain (as the spouse of Dr. Abid Hanson and a representative to his estate) filed a suit at the California Superior Court. Olympic airways intervened and moved the case to US District Court, Northern District California. It ruled in favor of Rubina Husain and awarded her $1,400,000 but cut her award by 50% citing Dr. Hanson’s negligence. It awarded her an additional $700,000 in non-pecuniary damages. Olympic appealed to the Supreme court. The Supreme court affirmed the ruling by the court of appeal.
Issue: Did the airline’s irrational rejection to assist Dr. Hanson, who became ill in the course of the international flight, act in contravention to the international standards and Olympic Air’s policy? Did it also constitute an accident as per Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention?
Holding/ Rule: Yes. The court identifies that Ms. Leptourgou’s conduct was contrary to industry standard. This behavior discourages actively and inactively, Ms. Husain and Mr. Hanson’s ability to independently look for seats. The nature of Ms. Leptourgou’s reaction prompted the matter to be regarded as an accident and as such, made the plain liable.
Reasoning: The courts cited the case of Air France Vs. Saks 470 U.S. 392 (1985). The case was cited because it acknowledges that the victim had preexisting conditions. Still, external events not familiar to the victim resulted in a chain of events that led to his ultimate death (US. DOJ, 2004). This was done in a bid to prove that the victim’s death would ultimately be described as an accident. Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention allows the victim and his representatives to claim an award if the injury caused or death is regarded to be an “accident.” Additionally, it provokes Article 20 that shifts the “burden of proof” to the petitioner and not the victim to prove that the airline’s conduct was not in any way unusual to the industry standards recommended.
The court applied the Torts § 314A (1) (1965) liability is imposed on the party that fails to react when required. The article 17 and 20 to define the incident as an accident. Eastern Airlines, Inc. v. Floyd, 499 U.S. 530, 546 (1991) to determine the fine amount. McDowell, 54 F. Supp. 2d at 1319 cf. 49 U.S.C. 44701(d)(1)(A) that defines the airlines to be more responsible for their passenger’s care.
Mr. Husain’s estate argue that the airline caused Mr. Husain’s death. Ms. Leptourgou acted contrary to required standard conditions by refusing to allocate Mr. Husain another seat in a non smoking area. This is despite the pleas by Ms. Rubina. They argue that his Ms. Leptourgou was external to the passenger’s condition and as such directly caused his death making it an accident as per Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention.
Olympic air argues that Mr. Husain was free to personally undertake the process of looking for a new seat in a non smoking area. They use the Article 21 of the Warsaw Convention seeking to prove that the injury and death of Dr. Hanson Husain was caused by his own negligence.

Olympic airways v. Husain – Amicus (Merits). (2004, October 21). Retrieved from
The case of Olympic Airways v. Husain is a legal case that involved a passenger who was injured while boarding an Olympic Airways flight. The passenger, Mr. Husain, was a quadriplegic who was traveling with a companion and a wheelchair. While boarding the flight, Mr. Husain’s companion failed to properly secure the wheelchair, causing it to roll down the airplane’s aisle and collide with Mr. Husain. As a result of the collision, Mr. Husain sustained injuries to his head and neck.
Mr. Husain filed a lawsuit against Olympic Airways, claiming that the airline was negligent in its duty to provide a safe boarding process for disabled passengers. The airline argued that it had fulfilled its duty by providing a wheelchair-accessible ramp and that the accident was caused by the actions of Mr. Husain’s companion.
The court ultimately ruled in favor of Mr. Husain, stating that Olympic Airways had a duty to provide a safe boarding process for disabled passengers and that this duty extended beyond simply providing a wheelchair-accessible ramp. The court also found that the airline had failed to properly train its employees on how to assist disabled passengers during boarding. As a result, the court awarded Mr. Husain damages for his injuries.
This case established the airlines to have a duty of care to provide a safe boarding process for disabled passengers, and that the airlines cannot only rely on providing wheelchair-accessible ramps but also to train their employees on how to assist disabled passengers during boarding.

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