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Family Receives Settlement from Virgin Atlantic in Exploding Airbag Case

Family will receive undisclosed five-figure sum after 2012 incident left child with severe injuries. [Warning: disturbing images below.]

Virgin Atlantic will pay out a five-figure settlement to the family of a child who was injured after a seat belt airbag exploded and caused severe injuries to the child. Britain’s The Mirror reports the family of four-year-old Daisy James will receive the settlement after the child suffered injuries during a return flight to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in May 2012.

After traveling to the United States, Daisy and grandmother Sally Dyer were returning home aboard Virgin Atlantic when the incident took place. After struggling to put together her seat belt, the airbag inside Daisy’s belt mistakenly exploded. As a result, the then four-year-old suffered burns and bruising to her face, arms and other parts of her body.


“The first I knew Daisy had been injured is when I got a call from my mum to say Daisy had a graze to her face,” Gillian James, mother of Daisy, told The Mirror. “I was prepared for a graze. But her face was swollen three times its normal size. It was absolutely horrendous.”


After the incident, the family says the child was rushed to a local hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. Although doctors said the scarring would heal and fade, the family claims Daisy continued to struggle with eating and suffered nightmares.

“This incident has had a huge impact on a very young child, not only physically in terms of the injuries Daisy suffered, but also psychologically,” Nicola Southwell, the attorney representing the family, told TravelMole. “It had a significant impact on Daisy’s day-to-day life.”

PAY-Daisy-James (1)

Although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic expressed their apologies to the family. According to The Mirror, the airline accepted responsibility under an article of the Montreal Convention placing liability on the carrier if a passenger is injured in an accident while aboard a commercial aircraft in operation.

“While it doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened, we have reached a settlement to the family’s satisfaction,” the Virgin Atlantic statement reads as printed by Travel Mole. “We have investigated the incident thoroughly and can confirm that it was an extremely unusual and isolated incident.”

[Photos: Virgin Atlantic, PA Real Life]

Comments are Closed.
Martina70 June 28, 2016

That poor child :( If air bags have been deemed dangerous or potential fatal for children under a certain age in vehicles, then why isn't the same standard of caution applicable to air craft?

Marlin240 March 19, 2016

Quite a few business class seats have them these days (e.g., AC flat bed seats do).

SeatOfMyPants March 18, 2016