Safety & HCM Post

High Court Upholds Third Party’s Right to Sue Airline for Obesity Discrimination

doctor filed a complaint with the Canada Transportation Agency claiming that Delta Air Lines’ practice of relocating obese passengers to portions of the aircraft where their bulk wouldn’t impinge on those seated next to them was illegal and discriminatory. The Agency tossed the case, noting that the doctor himself wasn’t obese; and because his case didn’t raise a constitutional question, he had no legal standing to bring it in the public interest. The Supreme Court of Canada said the Agency’s ruling was unreasonable and an abuse of its discretion to regulate the transportation industry. Airlines are private companies, not public agencies governed by the constitution. If the test were constitutionality, third parties would never be able to bring public interests lawsuits against an airline, the Court reasoned. So, the Court ordered the Agency to reinstate the doctor’s complaint and pay his legal costs [Delta Air Lines Inc. v. Lukács, 2018 SCC 2 (CanLII), Jan. 19, 2018].

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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