Liability of an Air Carrier for Providing Medical Assistance to a Passenger

Federal law does not require air carriers to provide medical assistance to passengers. However, the federal Aviation Medical Assistance Act of 1998 provides that an air carrier is not liable for:

(1) obtaining or attempting to obtain medical assistance for a passenger during an in-flight medical emergency; or

(2) the acts or omissions of a passenger who renders medical assistance to another passenger at the urging of the carrier if the carrier had a good faith belief that the assisting passenger was medically qualified to render assistance.

Therefore, if an air carrier chooses to obtain or attempt to obtain medical assistance for a passenger, and the passenger is injured as a result, then the injured passenger cannot recover damages from the air carrier in a state or federal personal injury lawsuit.

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