Father suing Cathay Pacific for alleged negligence in assisting son questions airline’s lengthy lawsuit preparation

The Indian businessman is seeking HK$1.94 million in damages

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 3:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 9:45pm

An Indian businessman suing Cathay Pacific Airways for HK$1.94 million over its alleged failure to attend to his son questioned why the airline was taking so long to prepare for the lawsuit, the High Court heard yesterday.

Ram Prasad Poosaala, a dried seafood trader, filed his claim on June 14.

He also told the High Court in the pretrial hearing that certain court documents provided to him by the airline contained information that was incomplete.

Cathay Pacific was seeking an extension until September 30 to prepare its case.

The airline was accused of “deficiency of service and gross negligence”, according to Poosaala’s High Court writ.

The trader said in the court document that his son Raja Ram Poosaala, 12, was travelling alone from Hong Kong to visit his grandmother in Telangana, India, on October 31 last year. The family had requested Cathay Pacific’s assistance for an unaccompanied minor.

But the boy’s uncle, due to receive him at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, could not find the boy at the arrivals hall. The uncle then received a phone call from an unknown caller at the airport, who promptly hung up after just saying the boy was with him.

Two hours after landing, the boy emerged, accompanied by a man who left as soon as he saw the uncle. Frightened, the boy told his uncle the man had asked him to follow him upon landing, and that airline staff members did not provide the “Meet and Assist” service as requested.

Poosaala said he asked for travel assistance because his son was not familiar with India and only understood Chinese and English. The boy wore a badge indicating he required assistance and his uncle said the airline did not call him upon landing, or give him his nephew’s whereabouts.

Yesterday, Cathay Pacific said it was still trying to contact the relevant parties to clarify facts.

The airline added that it needed more time to go through the case documents. Poosaala had applied for legal aid to pursue his claim.

“It has been too long,” the Indian businessman said of the time taken for the lawsuit to commence.

Master Hui Ka-ho gave the airline an extension until September 30 to put up its defence.

Outside court, Poosaala said his son is now attending a school in Shenzhen.