Recovery for Injuries and Deaths Suffered on International Flights

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1 Recovery for Injuries and Deaths Suffered on International Flights LISA J. SAVITT SUMMARY I. INTRODUCTION II. OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT VERSUS DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT A. OCSLA and DOHSA in Williamson and Brown B. DOHSA and the TWA 800 Crash III AMENDMENT TO DOHSA IV. WARSAW CONVENTION V. MONTREAL CONVENTION OF VI. CONCLUSION I. INTRODUCTION There have been several recent issues and legislative developments affecting recovery for injuries and deaths suffered on international flights. This paper will briefly address two areas: Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) 1 and The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air. 2 The discussion on DOHSA focuses on application of DOHSA to accidents on or near oil platforms and will also address the 2000 amendment to DOHSA and applicable case law following this amendment. There have been some interesting decisions lately applying the Warsaw Convention. The Montreal Convention of will, if ratified, certainly have an impact on litigation arising out of injuries or deaths occurring on international flights. Lisa J. Savitt, Esq. is senior counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley LLP. A member of the firm s Litigation Department, Ms. Savitt concentrates her practice in international aviation and products liability law, including the representation of airlines and manufacturers in aircraft accidents. She is also admitted to practice law in New York and Pennsylvania. Blank Rome has close to 400 attorneys with offices in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C U.S.C. app (1994) (current version at 46 U.S.C.A. app. 762 (West Supp. 2002)). 2. Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, Oct. 12, 1929, 49 Stat. 3000, 137 L.N.T.S. 11, reprinted in 49 U.S.C [hereinafter Warsaw Convention]. 3. Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, May 28, 1999, ICAO Doc. 9740, reprinted in 4 UNIF. L. REV. 948 (1999) [hereinafter Montreal Convention]. 63

2 64 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [VOL. 38:63 II. OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT VERSUS DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT The Death on the High Seas Act was enacted in 1920 to provide a remedy to families who lost loved ones at sea. DOHSA has been the source of much litigation, particularly with respect to the application of DOHSA to aviation accidents. An interesting issue presented itself recently whether DOHSA or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) 4 provided the applicable damages regime when a helicopter ferrying workers attempted to land on an oil platform on the Outer Continental Shelf but crashed into the platform and fell into the water. Williamson v. Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. 5 and Brown v. Eurocopter., S.A. 6 were wrongful death actions filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Galveston Division) arising out of a helicopter crash which occurred on November 28, 1996, near an oil platform about twenty-five miles southeast of Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter was flying passengers to and from oil platforms in the Gulf. While en route to one of the platforms, the helicopter experienced severe vibrations and also loss of tail rotor control. The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing at the nearest oil platform. During this attempt, the helicopter collided with the oil platform and then plunged into the sea, killing the pilot and the two passengers. In both cases, the plaintiffs argued that OCSLA applies when injury occurs when a helicopter crashes onto a platform on the Outer Continental Shelf. 7 Under OCSLA, a platform is the same as being on land. 8 If OCSLA applied, then the law of the adjacent state (which in this case would be Texas) would govern, and the plaintiffs possible recoverable damages would be much greater than under DOHSA. A. OCSLA and DOHSA in Williamson and Brown The initial action, Williamson v. Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., was brought in 1997 by the surviving relatives of the passengers killed in the crash. 9 The plaintiffs brought their claims for wrongful death under OCSLA, 10 and their claim for damages included a claim for nonpecuniary damages loss of society, loss of consortium, and decedents pre-death pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. In response, the defendants, Eurocopter, S.A. and Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., moved for partial summary judgment arguing that DOHSA was the exclusive remedy in this case and that OCSLA was inapplicable. Therefore, the plaintiffs could not recover punitive or nonpecuniary damages. The court held that DOHSA is the exclusive remedy when a helicopter ferrying passengers crashes on the high seas. 11 In granting defendants motion for partial summary judgment, Judge Kent followed the Fifth Circuit and applied maritime law. He examined whether there existed an independent basis for admiralty jurisdiction. Such an analysis requires that the claim have a maritime locality and a connection to maritime activity. Judge Kent found that the U.S.C (1994) F. Supp. 2d 456 (S.D. Tex. 1999) F. Supp. 2d 515 (S.D. Tex. 1999). 7. Williamson, 32 F. Supp. 2d at 458, 460; Brown, 38 F. Supp. 2d at U.S.C. 1333(a)(2)(A) (1994) F. Supp. 2d 456, (S.D. Tex. 1999). 10. Williamson, 32 F. Supp. 2d at Id. at 459 (citing Offshore Logisitics, Inc. v. Tallentire, 477 U.S. 207, 211, 232 (1986)).

3 2003] RECOVERY FOR INJURIES AND DEATHS SUFFERED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS 65 locality requirement was satisfied because the problems in the aircraft manifested over the Gulf of Mexico. 12 Judge Kent further found that the use of helicopters in ferrying personnel to and from oil platforms demonstrated the necessary maritime relationship. 13 The plaintiffs later filed a Motion for Reconsideration attempting to distinguish one of the passenger s cases. 14 The autopsy reports revealed that one passenger had drowned and that the other passenger had died of skull fractures. The plaintiffs argued that the passenger who died of skull fractures should have OCSLA applied to his case as the skull fractures showed that the injury occurred on the platform, not in the water, and that the manner of death was determinative of the locality issue under maritime law. In denying the motion, Judge Kent ruled that the place of the victim s death was not the lynchpin for determining locality. 15 Instead, the court looked to whether the alleged negligence became operative while the aircraft was on or over navigable waters. 16 Again, Judge Kent found that, as the aircraft had begun experiencing problems over the Gulf of Mexico, the incident which forms the basis of the claim satisfied the maritime locality requirement. 17 While the passenger cases involved in Williamson ultimately settled, a second case brought by the family of David Brown, the pilot, continued. 18 The plaintiffs in that case filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment making similar arguments with respect to the application of OCSLA. While the plaintiffs argued that the helicopter s impact with the platform should be the determining factor, the defendants, Eurocopter, S.A. and Ampep, argued that where the incident leading to the decedent s injury occurred should be the determining factor. 19 According to the defendants, since the incident was the alleged negligence relating to the helicopter, the incident occurred over high seas. 20 The court in its decision denying the plaintiffs motion went into a little more detail about where the alleged wrong occurred, noting that the mechanical problems suffered by Brown s helicopter originated and reached the point of crisis above the high seas. 21 The court clearly distinguished between the moment of consummation of the alleged wrong and the moment of the victim s death. 22 B. DOHSA and the TWA 800 Crash Prior to its amendment in 2000, 23 DOHSA applied to accidents more than a marine league from shore 24 approximately three nautical miles. This provision of DOHSA became a source of contention following several major aviation accidents, including the TWA 800 accident in Up until the 2000 amendment, DOHSA, if applicable, only allowed recovery for pecuniary damages. 12. Williamson, 32 F. Supp. 2d at Id. at Plaintiff s First Amended Opposed Motion to Reconsider at 2, Williamson (No. G ). 15. Order Denying Plaintiff Richard s Motion to Reconsider at 4, Williamson (No. G ). 16. Id. (citing Smith v. Pan Air Corp., 684 F.2d 1102, 1109 (5th Cir. 1982)). 17. Id. 18. Brown v. Eurocopter, S.A., 38 F. Supp. 2d 515 (S.D. Tex. 1999). 19. Id. at Id. 21. Id. 22. Id. 23. See infra Part IV for further discussion. 24. Death on the High Seas Act, 46 U.S.C. app. 761 (1994).

4 66 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [VOL. 38:63 The TWA 800 crash occurred about eight nautical miles from the coast of Long Island, signaling DOSHA would be applicable. 25 Litigation against Trans World Airlines and others was filed on behalf of the families of the passengers of TWA 800 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The defendants moved to dismiss plaintiffs claims of nonpecuniary damages, claiming that said damages were barred under DOHSA. The plaintiffs argued that Presidential Proclamation No. 5928, 26 issued in 1988 by President Reagan, provided for the extension of territorial seas to twelve nautical miles and should be determinative of whether this crash occurred on the high seas or not. The motion to dismiss was denied by Judge Robert W. Sweet, and defendants appealed to the Second Circuit. In a lengthy opinion, the Second Circuit upheld Judge Sweet s ruling, finding that the term high seas under DOHSA meant waters where no nation is sovereign, 27 and thus, if the Court applied DOHSA to territorial waters, it would be subverting the purpose of DOHSA. The Court found that President Reagan s Proclamation extended the three-mile boundary which had previously been applied. 28 Thus, as DOHSA was inapplicable, the TWA families would be entitled to nonpecuniary damages. III AMENDMENT TO DOHSA Because of the recent aviation disasters which occurred over water, such as TWA 800, Swissair Flight No. 111, and EgyptAir 990, Congress finally amended DOHSA in Sections 761 and 762 of DOHSA were amended by Section 404 of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (Air 21). 29 This legislation was signed on April 5, 2000, and is applicable to DOHSA for deaths resulting from commercial aviation accidents which occurred after July 16, The Congressional committees that conducted hearings on the amendment of DOHSA noted the inequities that families suffer should their loved ones die in an aircraft that crashes into the sea as opposed to one that crashes on land. Noting the fortuitous nature of air travel, it was recognized that it is a matter of chance where a plane crashes, and thus a family s rights depend[ed] on pure chance. 31 Thus, the amendment first provides that DOHSA is no longer controlling in aviation accidents arising out of crashes into the high seas that take place twelve nautical miles or closer to the shore of any state. 32 DOHSA was further amended to allow the recovery of nonpecuniary damages specifically defined as damages for loss of care, comfort, and companionship should the crash occur more than twelve nautical miles away from the shore. 33 Also, the amendment retained the provision of DOHSA denying recovery for punitive damages In re Air Crash Off Long Island, New York, 209 F.3d 200, 201 (2d Cir. 2000). 26. Proclamation No. 5928, 3 C.F.R. 547 (1988) ( The territorial sea of the United States henceforth extends to 12 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States determined in accordance with international law. ). 27. In re Air Crash Off Long Island, New York, 209 F.3d 200, 213 (2d Cir. 2000). 28. Id. at Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, Pub. L. No , 404, 114 Stat. 131 (2000). 30. Id. 404(c), 114 Stat. at 114. The date is one day before the TWA 800 accident. 31. H.R. REP. NO at 2 (1999) (clarifying the application of the act popularly known as the Death on the High Seas Act to aviation accidents) (a), 114 Stat. at 131 (creating an exception for commercial aviation accidents occurring twelve nautical miles within shore, previously covered by DOHSA s extending the boundary three nautical miles from shore) (b), 114 Stat. at Id.

5 2003] RECOVERY FOR INJURIES AND DEATHS SUFFERED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS 67 Following the amendment of DOHSA, in Brown v. Eurocopter, S.A., the plaintiffs filed a motion requesting that, if DOHSA applied, it would apply as amended. 35 This would give the plaintiffs the right to recover nonpecuniary damages as well as pecuniary damages. The plaintiffs argued that the helicopter accident flight was commercial aviation and therefore would fall under the amendment to DOHSA. Citing to the Federal Aviation Regulations, the plaintiffs maintained that commercial aviation should be defined broadly as all air carriage performed for compensation or hire. 36 At the time of the accident, the pilot was working for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., and the helicopter was being operated as an air taxi for hire under Part 135. The defendants argued to the contrary that Congress intended the term commercial aviation accident to mean commercial airline disasters, not helicopter or general aviation aircraft disasters. Plaintiffs also argued that the case fell under the retroactive provision of the amendment to DOHSA, since the accident was after July 16, 1996 (the date of the accident was November 28, 1996). Defendants attempted to argue that the retroactive application of the amendment was unconstitutional. Judge Samuel Kent granted the plaintiffs motion and dealt only with the issue of the definition of commercial aviation. Judge Kent went back to basics, namely Black s Law Dictionary, looking at the words commercial and commercial activities. Both definitions included a connection with commerce or an activity that is carried on for profit. 37 The Judge also cited Webster s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary for the definition of the term aviation, which was defined as the operation of heavier-than-air aircraft. 38 Judge Kent reasoned that since PHI s business was to provide customers with on-demand air taxi service using heavier-than-air helicopters, the flight which ended in the accident was part of PHI s commercial operations, and thus the accident would be governed by the now amended DOHSA provision. 39 Judge Kent also noted that he did not believe that Congress meant to favor victims of international commercial air accidents over victims of commercial aviation accidents in general. 40 Judge Kent did not comment on the issue of retroactivity of the amendment. In the only other published case applying the amended DOHSA to an aviation accident, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania analyzed the Death on the High Seas Act and the 2000 amendment in an accident arising from the Swissair crash on September 2, U.S. District Judge James Giles ruled on the motion of defendants The Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corporation (joined by other defendants) to dismiss all claims for punitive damages as precluded by the amended DOHSA. Swissair Flight No. 111 crashed near Peggy s Cove, Nova Scotia, on September 2, 1998, after departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Geneva, Switzerland. The defendants in this case stipulated for purposes of the motion that the site of the accident was within the twelve mile territorial waters of Canada and outside the three mile limit of Canadian territorial waters. 42 Canada had extended its territorial seas from F. Supp. 2d 859, 860 (S.D. Tex. 2000). The accident occurred twenty-five miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. 36. Id. at Brown, 111 F. Supp. 2d at 862 (citing BLACK S LAW DICTIONARY 270 (6th ed. 1990)). 38. Id. (citing WEBSTER S NINTH NEW COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 119 (1990)). 39. Id. 40. Id. at In re Air Crash Disaster Near Peggy s Cove, Nova Scotia, 210 F. Supp. 2d 570 (E.D. Pa. 2002). 42. Id. at 572.

6 68 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [VOL. 38:63 three to twelve miles in The defendants argued that DOHSA should be applied because the crash was more than twelve miles from the shores of the United States. The plaintiffs argued that because the crash occurred in Canadian territorial waters, it was not in the high seas as defined under DOHSA and that therefore general maritime law should apply. If DOHSA was held to apply, then the plaintiffs would not be entitled to punitive damages. In a lengthy opinion, Judge Giles discussed the legislative history of DOHSA as well as the history leading to the amendment of DOHSA in April The Court noted in a footnote that it was a case of first impression as to whether or not the amended DOHSA applied to accidents occurring in foreign territorial waters. 44 Previously, courts had interpreted DOHSA to apply to nautical accidents occurring within foreign territorial waters. 45 The original DOHSA statute applied to deaths on the high seas that occured beyond a marine league from the shore of any state of the United States. 46 Judge Giles interpreted this to infer that the term high seas was meant to apply to waters beyond the U.S. coast. 47 The plaintiffs argued that the Second Circuit decision arising out of the crash of TWA Flight 800 should be used to interpret, by case law, what the definition of high seas was, namely to mean international, non-sovereign waters. 48 Judge Giles rejected this argument noting that the legislative history showed that the amendment to DOHSA was enacted because of the accident and not because of the Second Circuit decision. 49 Judge Giles did not find any legislative history for the proposition that the amended DOHSA should apply to foreign territorial waters. 50 Going back to the purpose for DOHSA the need for a uniform remedy for survivors of those killed at sea and for a variety of other reasons, Judge Giles found that the amended DOHSA did apply to aviation accidents in foreign territorial waters. 51 Therefore, because the amended DOHSA did not allow recovery for punitive damages, Judge Giles granted the defendants motion to dismiss all claims for punitive damages. There appears at this time to be no other published case law applying the amended DOHSA to an aviation accident. It will be interesting to see the additional legal questions raised by the amended DOHSA. IV. WARSAW CONVENTION Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention creating air carrier liability sets out the circumstances under which an air carrier may be liable for injuries to passengers. Article 17 provides: The carrier shall be liable for damage sustained in the event of the death or wounding of a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger, if the accident which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the 43. Oceans Act, S.C., part 1, ch. 31, 4 (1996) (Can.); cf. Territorial Sea and Fishing Zones Act, R.S.C., ch. 22 (1964) (repealed 1996) (Can.) (providing for a three-mile territorial sea). 44. In re Air Crash Disaster Near Peggy s Cove, Nova Scotia, 210 F. Supp. 2d 570, 581 n.11 (E.D. Pa. 2002). 45. Id. at 580 (citations omitted). 46. Death on the High Seas Act, 46 U.S.C. app. 761 (1994). 47. In re Air Crash Disaster Near Peggy s Cove, Nova Scotia, 210 F. Supp. 2d at Id. at 582 (citing In re Air Crash Off Long Island, New York, 209 F.3d 200, (2d Cir. 2000)). 49. Id. at 583 n Id. at Id. at 586.

7 2003] RECOVERY FOR INJURIES AND DEATHS SUFFERED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS 69 aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking. 52 Therefore, for an air carrier to be liable for injuries, a plaintiff must establish that: There has been an accident; That the passenger suffered death, wounding or bodily injury; and That the accident either took place on board the aircraft or in the course of operations of embarking or disembarking. The Supreme Court in Air France v. Saks defined the term accident as an injury caused by an unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger. 53 The definitions of accident and bodily injury are the focus of recent Warsaw Convention decisions. In Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 54 the First Circuit vacated the district court s order of dismissal in a case involving allegations by one male passenger that he was sexually assaulted by another male passenger. The court remanded the case, emphasizing that, in order to recover under the Warsaw Convention for a injury by a fellow passenger, a plaintiff must prove that the airline s personnel played a causal role in the commission of the tort. In Wallace v. Korean Air, 55 the Second Circuit reversed the district court s finding that no accident had occurred when a passenger was sexually assaulted by a fellow passenger during an international flight. Interestingly, the Second Circuit found that the characteristics of air travel, such as sitting in a confined space next to strangers and in an unsupervised location, increased plaintiff s vulnerability to the assault and was considered to be an accident under Article The Second Circuit in Sethy v. Malev-Hungarian Airlines, Inc. 57 affirmed the lower court s ruling that a trip and fall over another passenger s bag on the floor of an aircraft during the boarding process was not an accident under Article 17. Following the Saks case, the Court declined to recognize an Article 17 accident where not only was the cause of the accident not a risk characteristic of air travel, but it did not relate to the operation of the aircraft or the acts of the crew members. Since the plaintiff in this case could not show that there was any act or omission by the airline cabin crew, the court did not find that the incident was a departure from the normal boarding process and was thus not an accident under Article However, a passenger opening up a luggage bin above her seat and causing a bag of liquor bottles to drop on another passenger s head was found to be an accident in Maxwell v. Aer Lingus Ltd. 59 The Court found that, because the event was unexpected and unusual and related to the characteristic risks of air travel as airlines provide the storage of items in the overhead bin for the amenity for the passengers, the injuries were caused by an accident under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention Warsaw Convention, supra note 2, art U.S. 392, 392 (1985) F.3d 68 (1st Cir. 2000) F.3d 293 (2d Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S (2001). 56. Id. at No. 98 Civ (AGS), 2001 WL (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2000), aff d, 2001 WL (2d Cir. June 12, 2001). 58. Id. at * F. Supp. 2d 210, 211 (D. Mass. 2000). 60. Id. at (citing Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392 (1985)).

8 70 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [VOL. 38:63 The Warsaw Convention does not allow for recovery of punitive damages. The Northern District of California recently dealt with this issue in two cases. In Brandt and Brandt v. American Airlines, 61 the court granted the defendant s motion to dismiss on several grounds. The plaintiffs claims arose out of a series of events having to do with Mr. Brandt s claim that the failure of the airline to provide food during a flight when he had a medical condition requiring him to eat caused bodily injury covered by the Warsaw Convention. In particular, the plaintiffs argued that Article 25 of the Convention provided for the abrogation of the limited liability protections of the Convention for a carrier who causes the damage by [its] willful misconduct or by such default on [its] part... [as is] considered to be equivalent to willful misconduct. 62 The plaintiffs argued that Article 25 entitled them to base their claims on local, state, or federal law because they alleged willful misconduct under Article 25 of the Convention. The court did not find this argument persuasive, and after citing a number of cases that commented on whether Article 25 created an independent cause for liability, the court ruled that Article 25 did not give the plaintiffs an independent cause of action under local law. 63 The court also referred to Montreal Protocol No. 4 that amended the Warsaw Convention. The Protocol clarified that Article 25 applied only to the liability limits under the other Articles of the Convention and not to such unspecified causes of action as might be available under local law. 64 In the second opinion by the Northern District of California, In re Air Crash Off Point Mugu, California, 65 the court had before it a number of motions for judgment on the pleadings and partial summary judgment arising out of the crash of Alaska Airlines on January 30, The parties had not disputed that the Warsaw Convention, as modified by Montreal Protocol No. 4, provided the exclusive basis for the claims against Alaska Airlines. 66 The court considered whether the Warsaw Convention allowed for the award of punitive damages. While there were no reported cases on this issue in the Ninth Circuit, the Northern District of California followed the decision of many courts and agreed that the Warsaw Convention did not allow for the recovery of punitive damages. 67 The court granted Alaska Airlines judgment on the pleadings on the claim for punitive damages. Another interesting issue considered in this opinion was whether or not emotional distress claims arising out of physical injuries to passengers should be allowed under the Warsaw Convention. 68 Emotional distress damages are not recoverable absent a showing that the emotional distress arose out of physical injuries. Although the aircraft was destroyed, the plaintiffs had argued that the passengers experienced a violent ride for about half an hour prior to the crash of the airplane and that this caused them physical injuries, and thus, claims for damages for emotional distress should be permitted. The court declined to grant judgment on the pleadings as to pre-impact emotional distress claims, stating that the allegations that the passengers suffered pre-impact physical injuries was sufficient to allow the case to go forward and that the issue would be considered after testimony by the parties experts No. C SI, 2000 WL (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2000). 62. Id. at *5; Warsaw Convention, supra note 2, art. 25(1). 63. Id. at * Id F. Supp. 2d 1156 (N.D. Cal. 2001). 66. Id. at Id. at Id. 69. Id. at 1163.

9 2003] RECOVERY FOR INJURIES AND DEATHS SUFFERED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS 71 V. MONTREAL CONVENTION OF 1999 The Montreal Convention of 1999 was adopted on May 28, 1999, by the International Civil Aviation Organization. 70 It seeks to update the 1929 Warsaw Convention. Essentially, the Montreal Convention of 1999 establishes the strict liability of air carriers up to 100,000 SDRs per passenger. 71 There is no liability limit if the carrier fails to prove freedom from fault in causing the accident. 72 The Montreal Convention added one new jurisdiction under which a plaintiff may bring suit: a passenger may bring an action in the territory where the passenger s principal and permanent residence is located at the time of the accident. The air carrier must have a business presence in that jurisdiction. 73 Punitive damages are still banned under the Montreal Convention of 1999, and there still is a right of recourse against third parties by the air carrier. 74 Seventy-one states have signed the Montreal Convention of 1999, and twenty-two states have deposited the proper documentation with the ICAO. 75 The Montreal Convention of 1999 is still waiting for the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate for ratification. VI. CONCLUSION DOHSA and the Warsaw Convention are just two aspects of recovery of injuries and deaths on international flights. There are many other interesting and intriguing legal issues arising out of international travel: responsibility for acts of air rage and deep vein thrombosis, to name a few. The context of these alleged injuries in an aviation environment ensures that courts will continue to struggle with a unique area of law. 70. Montreal Convention, supra note Id. art. 21(1). SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights, are an artificial currency unit. 72. Id. art. 21(2). 73. Id. art. 33(2). 74. Id. art Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriers by Air Done at Montreal on 28 May 1999, Status, at (last visited Oct. 15, 2002).

10 72 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [VOL. 38:63

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