The Paris Appeal Court confirmed the fine for EasyJet of 70.000 euros for discrimination. The airline refused the access of a plane to three not accompanied disabled persons mentioning safety reasons.
The company had been condemned at first instance by the Bobigny Magistrates’ Court. The plaintiffs were refused to board in a plane at the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, on January the 12th of 2009, as well as on November the 9th and the 19th of 2008.
Besides the 70.000-euro fine, the Court has condemned the EasyJet Company and a subcontractor to pay 2.000 euros of damages to each of the three plaintiffs, and a symbolic euro to the Association des Paralysés de France (APF, French Association of Paralyzed People).
The APF’s Lawyer, Me Patrick de la Grange, declared he was "extremely satisfied" by this decision which according to him is going to make "jurisprudence", greeting a " very big success ".
The lawyer pointed out that one of the plaintiffs had not declared that he was a disabled passenger; two others had not taken their tickets directly with EasyJet, and thus had not declared themselves. One of the plaintiffs, Laurent Gianmartini, a high-level disabled tennis player, explained to AFP that the access to a plane bound for Nice was refused to him on November 19th of 2008, while he wanted to get back home in Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes) after a competition. Tetraplegic and travelling very often by plane, he said that it was the first time when he was confronted with an incident of this type.