On April 4 Vineetha Warnakulasuriya, 72, was travelling with her son, daughter-in-law, and her two grandchildren on an Malaysia Airlines flight from Melbourne Airport when she had a fall on the travellator about an hour before departure.
Paramedics assisted her and Ms Warnakulasuriya was cleared to continue her flight, after she made an agreement with the airline to have wheelchair assitance for the entire journey to Columbo.
Vineetha Warnakulasuriya was refused a wheelchair while leaving a Malaysia Airlines flight which resulted in her breaking her leg
However, according to Shine Lawyers solicitor Joseph Wheeler his client was not given the support she needed for the entirety of her trip.
After being wheeled off the plane and onto the next on during a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Ms Warnakulasuriya was then asked to disembark the plane at her final destination on her own.
The statement of claim says that ‘when the Plaintiff was on board the aircraft…she stood up un-assisted following the refusal of a flight attendant to provide a wheelchair or manual assitance.’
‘When she got to the other end she waited for all the passengers to clear the plane,’ Mr Wheeler told the MailOnline.
‘She was told something to the effect of ‘there’s isnt a wheelchair you’ll have to get that at the exit.”
The 72-year-old fractured her tibia and tore ligaments in her right leg and is now seeking $250K compensation
But the elderly woman was not able to walk on her own and when she stood up to leave the plane her right leg, which she had injured earlier, collapsed beneath her.
‘As soon as she stood up she fell back to the ground, her right knee and leg collapsed, she fractured her tibia, and there was ligament damage,’ Mr Wheeler said.
This week, court documents were filed over the incident requesting compensation from Malysia Airlines to the sum of $250,000.
Mr Wheeler said his client is seeking to cover the costs of her ongoing medical treatment, and although Malaysia Airlines extended her return ticket so she could recover before returning to Australia, they have denied liabilty for the accident.
Malaysia Airlines told the MailOnline that the company ‘is aware of the incident and as litigations are underway will not be commenting further.’
When Ms Warnakulasuriya arrived in Sri Lanka it was originally thought she may need to undergo surgery for her injuries, but instead had intensive physiotherary each day trying to get her to be able to walk.
She was forced to extend her trip beyond her initial two weeks, only returning to Australia on July 14 so she wouldn’t lose her visa privleges.
When asked about the $250,000 compensation claim, Mr Wheeler said that is a figure which is the ‘best estimate given how early on she is in her recovery.’
In order to sucessfully recieve compensation for his client, Mr Wheeler must ‘prove that the airlines act of not providing a wheelchair was resposbile for the accident.’