Australian Woman Sues Malaysia Airlines For RM616K Over Alleged In-Flight Sexual Assault
An Australian woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted by MAS' chief steward on a KL-Paris flight in 2014, is suing the airlines for AUD200,000 (around RM616,000)
Here's a little backstory on what lead to this hefty lawsuit:
On 4 August 2014, the then 26-year-old Laura Bushney boarded flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris.
According the Australian national, she had informed the cabin crew of her fear of flying, and Chief Steward Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim had assured that he would "check on her" later, during the flight.
In her Statement of Claim filed in the Federal Court of Western Australia, Bushney claims that Mohd Rosli had sat down beside her and started touching her under the pretext of "comforting her".
The nightmarish ordeal that lasted several hours during the 13-hour flight had allegedly included Mohd Rosli touching her legs, rubbing her stomach and thighs and eventually escalated to him putting his hands inside Bushney's pants and touching her genitalia.
The assault led her to become physically sick and the chief steward had walked away when that happened.
It was also previously reported that Bushney had managed to record a shaky video of the incident, showing Mohd Rosli sitting across her, his hands clasped together
Upon arrival at the France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, Bushney had reportedly told a Malaysian Airlines official about the incident.
Following which, she was told that "there would be repercussions against her if the allegations were false".
French police took the chief steward to a police station within the airport and Bushney agreed to undergo DNA testing. Rosli was later charged and freed on bail.
Malaysia Airlines terminated Rosli’s employment two weeks after the alleged incident.
Following the untoward incident, Malaysia Airlines released a statement stressing that the comfort and safety of their passengers are of utmost importance to them
In the statement released, Malaysia Airlines confirmed the allegations made and that a member of their staff had been detained by the French police.
"We will naturally assist the French authorities as they conduct their investigation and would stress that the safety, comfort and well-being of our passengers is always our highest priority," it said.
While the airline gave no other details about the member of staff arrested, the Australian news site said the chief steward is married with children remains in the custody of French police after "making admissions".
Having confessed to his crimes, Mohd Rosli is currently on bail awaiting trial in France after being charged for indecent assault.
Almost two years after the incident, Bushney is seeking now seeking compensation worth AUD200,000 for the "bodily injuries" and emotional trauma she suffered from the attack
Under the Montreal Convention, Ms Bushney had two years to seek compensation based on physical injuries she suffered in the attack as well as financial losses.
The Statement of Claim said her "bodily injuries" included genital trauma and redness, abrasions, physical manifestations from the shock of the assault including tears and sleeplessness, racing heart, nausea and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"As a consequence of the injuries, she has endured and continues to endure pain and suffering, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of amenities of life, has lost income and has been left with a permanent disability," said the statement.
In addition to the AUD200,000 compensation allowable under the first tier of the Montreal Convention, Ms Bushney is seeking interest on damages, costs and interest on costs, as well as "further or other relief that the court considers just".