Photo Credit: Richie Diesterheft
American Airlines plane looming over Maho Beach, December 16, 2011.

Judge José Marcos Marrone of the São Paulo Court of Justice has recently ruled twice against Ameican Airlines for failing to provide its passengers with kosher food onboard its flights to Brazil.

In one case, a judicial panel that included Judge Marrone ordered the airline to indemnify a passenger in the amount of BRL 6,000 ($1,055). The passenger was traveling AA from New York to São Paulo and reserved a kosher meal in advance. The passenger claimed that food was not served during the flight, which forced him to fast for the ten-hour flight. The original court rejected the lawsuit, but Judge Marrone’s tribunal reversed the decision and attached emotional suffering to the damages.


“There is no formal record of the delivery of said food to the plaintiff, a measure that was incumbent on the airline, mainly due to the quality of service it offers. Since the defendant was not able to disprove the plaintiff’s allegations, it has to be considered as a failure in the provision of services as attributed in the initial petition,” the judge ruled.

For the magistrate court, “no further clarification is needed regarding the moral damage suffered by the plaintiff with the failure to provide the services of the airline, which imposed on him a forced fast during the ten hours of flight, while all other passengers ate normally,” the judge added, and concluded “The plaintiff is entitled, therefore, to the indemnity for the claimed emotional suffering.” The decision was unanimous.

In the other case, judge José Marcos Marrone’s Chamber denied American Airlines’ appeal and held the reparations in the amount of BRL 10,000 ($1,760). In that case, the passenger did not receive kosher food on two AA flights: from Madrid to Philadelphia, and, later, on the flight between Chicago and London. In total, she fasted for about nine hours.

According to Judge Marrone, it was not possible to demand from the plaintiff proof of a negative fact, that is, that the food was not served, as defended by the airline. “Taking into account the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s degree of guilt, the serious inconvenience borne by the plaintiff, the economic capacity of the offender compared with the offended party’s, the fact that the aforementioned failure took place twice in a short space of time – it is fair to arbitrate the indemnity of BRL 10,000, that is, BRL 5,000 for each occurrence,” the judge concluded. This decision was also unanimous.

Is it possible someone at American Airlines teed off the honorable Judge José Marcos Marrone of the São Paulo Court of Justice?

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