Man asked for coffee – airline gave him drain cleaner

A French court on Friday ordered Air France to pay €146,000 ($186,000) to compensate a passenger who said he was served poisoned coffee on a domestic flight in 2006.


The court ordered the carrier to pay €46,000 to the man and €100,000 to the health insurer that has been covering his costs after he said he was poisoned with drain cleaner on the Bordeaux to Paris flight.

Marc-Fredaine Niazaire was taken ill during the flight and hospitalised on landing. He was operated on for a problem with his oesophagus and sued Air France for poisoning him with a “seriously toxic liquid” used to clear drains.

A criminal enquiry concluded in 2010 that there was nothing to prosecute,after which Niazaire launched a civil case seeking €680,000 in damages.

“The symptoms arose at the same time as Mr Niazaire ingested a coffee and biscuit. They appeared suddenly,” the court ruling said, adding that Niazaire had never previously been treated for stomach problems.