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Here Comes the Judge!

Lion Air Sued for US$1.2 Million by Delayed Bali Passenger

(12/2/2011) A judge working at the Denpasar District Court, IGB Komang Wijaya Adhi, is suing Indonesian Air Carrier Lion Air for more than US$1.2 million in losses he claimes he sustained after experiencing a flight delay on October 14, 2011.

During an initial effort to mediate the dispute, the judge’s legal counsel, Sthuti Mandala, announced he was seeking Rp. 45 million (US$5,000) in material damages and an additional Rp. 11 billion (US$1.2 million) in non-material losses.

Mandala, representing Wijaya Adhi in the case, is a former judge.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Wijaya Adhi was invited by the Tjokro Group to act as a moderators at a seminar scheduled for October 14-16, 2011 in Jakarta. He was contracted to receive a fee of Rp. 45 million for his services.

According to Mandala, his client had spent six months preparing for his moderator role.

The judge booked Lion Air flight JT0033 scheduled to fly at 6:45 p.m., a departure time that came and went with no news from the airline to the waiting passengers. The judge, fearing he would be late for his Jakarta appearance, finally was advised his flight would be delayed two hours.

At that point the judged hurriedly tried to move his booking to Sriwijaya Airt that had a remaining seat, discovered fifteen minutes before the Sriwijaya Air gate was scheduled to close. The Judge then asked Lion Air to transfer his booking to Sriwijaya Air in order arrive in Jakarta in time for the seminar scheduled to start in Jakarta at 7:30 p.m.

Lion Air reportedly refused to help the Judge secure a replacement flight or move his booking, claiming they were only responsible to refund the ticket's value, while securing a replacement flight was the passenger’s sole responsibility.

Discussions with Lion Air ground staff seeking help in securing a seat on the alternative flight dragged on while the gate closed on the Sriwijaya Air flight. Having missed the alternate flight, the Lion Air flight then eventually departed for Jakarta at 10:00 p.m., almost three hours behind schedule.

The Judge and his lawyer are charging Lion Air with “bad faith” under the 1999 Consumer Protection law and non-performance of contract.

Because the Judge’s role as moderator had to be assumed by another speaker, he lost the promised fee of Rp. 45 million and claims his reputation with the Tjokro Group has been badly damaged, thereby affecting his potential future income as a moderator - a job he has frequently occupied over the past four years.

Said the Judge’s lawyer: “The plaintiff has been branded as a liar who purposefully disrupted the planned seminar. In fact, the idea for the seminar came from the plaintiff, but because the airline booked by him (Lion Air) was two hours late it caused disappointment and embarrassment. This cannot be measured in money and we are therefore seeking non-material damaged of Rp. 11 billion.”

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