Case details

The Airport Authority (Appellant) v Western Air Ltd (Respondent) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2018/0056

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary

Issue(s)

In the appeal: Whether the Court of Appeal erred by affirming the trial judge’s finding that Airport Authority Limited ("Authority") is liable to Western Air Limited ("Airline") for negligence leading to theft of an aircraft.

In the cross-appeal: Whether the Court of Appeal erred in affirming dismissal of the Airline’s claim for loss of revenue, on the basis that it should not disturb the trial judge’s ‘finding of fact’ that the Airline had not proven its loss, and whether the trial judge’s approach to the evidence was wrong.

Facts

On 26 April 2007, an aircraft owned and operated by the Airline was stolen from an airport at Nassau, The Bahamas. The Authority is a statutory body charged, among other duties, with airport security. The Airline brought a claim for breach of statutory duty and negligence. The damages sought included special damages to reflect an increase in the Airline’s insurance premium and interest on its bank loan, as well as loss of revenue. The trial judge held that the Authority had been negligent (but not in breach of statutory duty) and awarded damages of $833,000 against it. However, the trial judge declined to award damages for the Airline’s loss of revenue due to its inability to charter the plane, finding that this was not proven on the balance of probabilities. The Authority appealed to the Court of Appeal against the finding of liability, while the Airline pursued a cross-appeal regarding denial of damages for loss of revenue. Both were dismissed. The Authority and the Airline now respectively appeal and cross-appeal to the Judicial Committee from those dismissals.

Parties

Appellant(s)

The Airport Authority Ltd

Respondent(s)

Western Air Ltd

Appeal

Justices

Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden

Hearing start date

23 Jan 2020

Hearing finish date

23 Jan 2020