A was killed in a crash during a training flight which should never have taken place, due to bad weather and poor visibility. Whilst liability was admitted by the flying school, the claim by the parents was disputed. A and his parents were from Afghanistan but were living in Kuwait at the time of the accident. They had financially supported their son in his quest to become a commercial airline pilot and therefore had a reasonable expectation culturally that he would in turn financially support them once he began working as a pilot.

This case had two main challenges, first how to establish A’s career path and earning potential (especially in light of the impact of the Covid pandemic on the airline industry). Secondly, how to establish the cultural obligations of A to financially support his parents. As regards the first issue, permission was obtained to instruct an industry expert who considered a number of potential career and earning routes that A could have followed. As regards the second issue, a substantial number of witness statements were obtained from family, friends and A’s fiancée to demonstrate his commitment to financially supporting his parents.

Despite its denials, the Defendant accepted the claims advanced by A’s parents two weeks prior to trial and offered to settle the claim close to full value. The settlement has now secured the parents future in terms of financial security, though nothing can compensate them for the loss of their son.

Shahram Sharghy and Keith Barrett from Fieldfisher represented the family of A.