Former Jetstar worker sues over ‘near miss’

A FORMER Jetstar worker is suing the airline for more than $250,000 in damages over an alleged "near-miss" involving a family and parking plane at Gold Coast Airport.

Elly Lees, a former customer services officer at Coolangatta airport, was helping passengers disembark from the rear stairs in June 2018, when another plane approached to park.

The New South Wales woman claims a family, with children, which had just disembarked, appeared to be in danger from the plane.

According to a claim filed in Southport District Court last week Ms Lees was "terrified" they would be injured.

She ushered the family away from the incoming plane and quickly stopped other passengers from coming down the stairs, the claim reads.

She claims she was left "significantly distressed" by the ordeal.

Vanda Carson story. Former Jetstar customer service agent Elly Lees, from Casuarina, NSW.
Vanda Carson story. Former Jetstar customer service agent Elly Lees, from Casuarina, NSW.

It is alleged the incident led to her suffering an "adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood".

The same day she claims she suffered a back injury while assisting a "large wheelchair-bound passenger" to disembark.

She allegedly felt a "pain in her lower back" when trying to lift and push the wheelchair as the plane was not flush with the landing platform, the claim reads.

She has sued the airline for $252,279.15 in damages for personal injuries and loss as a result of the alleged negligence.

 

The former Jetstar worker is suing the airline for more than $250,000.
The former Jetstar worker is suing the airline for more than $250,000.

A Jetstar spokesman said: "We are aware of the claims made by Ms Lees and strongly deny the allegations of negligence.

"At all times the space between the two aircraft was in excess of CASA requirements and Ms Lees followed the standard procedures for the disembarkation of a wheelchair passenger."

According to the claim, it is alleged she has been "debarred" from working in the aviation industry and now earns less than she did at Jetstar.

She claims she is unable to return to the hospitality industry, where she worked previously, as it was too physical.

It's alleged she has "ongoing difficulties" at work, in that she was "distractible", made errors, was stressed and anxious.

The claim alleges several failings for both incidents by Jetstar, including that the airline exposed Ms Lees to risk of injury.

She accused the airline of failing to ensure employees took steps to remove risk of someone being close to an approaching plane when disembarking.

And she alleged the grounds operations controller failed to communicate to ground staff about the parking plane, and to not use the rear stairs.

Ms Lees declined to comment.

Originally published as Former Jetstar worker sues over 'near miss'



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