Wednesday A shower or two, with lengthy fine breaks
Friday Shower or two
Saturday Fine day. Evening shower
Aircraft fume illness case settled
By Ben Ruse
A FORMER Ansett flight attendant who claimed her
career was destroyed by leaking engine oil fumes has agreed
to an out-of-court settlement after a three-year legal battle.
Judy Cullinane, 37, who worked for Ansett for 10 years,
began legal action in 1999. She claimed her health had been
damaged permanently by exposure to fumes in BAe146 planes.
Under the settlement with Ansett insurers QBE, Ms Cullinane
is not able to reveal the amount settled or comment on details.
But she said yesterday she was thrilled that the matter
had been resolved and that she did not have to go to court.
Ms Cullinane, from Salter Point, was seriously ill twice
after being exposed to fumes, in November 1997 and in January
Doctors say she still has long-term health problems, including
intermittent breathing difficulties, chemical sensitivity,
dermatitis, disorientation and impaired memory, which have
left her unable to work.
The 80-seat BAe146s began service in Australia in 1983.
In WA there are 23 used by National Jet Systems and Qantas
on routes from Perth to the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields.
The fume problem, caused by faulty seals which let engine
oil fumes into the air-conditioning system, was first reported
in 1991 with pilots and cabin staff saying they had been
In 1996, Ansett sought outside medical advice and set up
an independent panel, including safety regulators. It found
the toxic levels on the jets were thousands of times lower
than international standards. A Senate report in 2000 found
no need to ground the planes, which had been repaired to
stop the problem, but recommended stringent monitoring of
cabin air quality.
Ms Cullinane's lawyer, Hayden Stephens from Slater &
Gordon, said he did not know of any other cases of flight
attendants suing airlines, although one was suing the plane's
Although Ansett had collapsed, its insurance company still
honoured claims made before its demise, he said.
The two airlines which currently operate BAe146 aircraft
say that they are now safe for passengers and crew. However,
last year the Air Transport Safety Board investigated three
incidents of fumes in the planes. In one, a pilot had to
be taken to hospital after landing.
win for Ansett attendant By NORRIE ROSS 31jul02
A FORMER Ansett
flight attendant who suffered health problems from aircraft
fumes has won an out-of-court settlement from the defunct
Cullinane was one of a number of Ansett workers around Australia
who sued the airline, claiming their health was affected
by fumes seeping into BAe146 aircraft.
have received workers' compensation but it is believed Mrs
Cullinane, of Perth, is the first to win compensation in
settlement of a lawsuit.
alleged the BAe146's airconditioning was not properly sealed,
allowing engine fumes to enter the cabin. She suffered long-term
headaches, nausea, hair loss and lethargy and was unable
to resume work after sick leave.
Cullinane's solicitor, Hayden Stephens of Slater and Gordon,
said his client's life had been blighted by her injuries.
Mrs Cullinane will be properly compensated for lost income
and medical expenses for injuries she suffered through no
fault of her own," Mr Stephens said.