Pro se Plaintiff Aliou Barry filed suit against Royal Air Maroc (“RAM”) in New York state court seeking damages for baggage lost by RAM during carriage from New York City to Cairo, Egypt. During a scheduled layover in Casablanca, Morocco, the plaintiff was rerouted onto another carrier, Tunisair. While plaintiff arrived in Cairo, his baggage did not, and it was never located.

RAM removed the action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on the basis that the Montreal Convention governed the claims, and promptly filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that plaintiff failed to commence litigation within the two-year period of limitations provided by Article 35 of the Convention.

The Court properly found that the Montreal Convention governed plaintiff's claims, as he was traveling round-trip from the United States, a party to the Convention. Because plaintiff's carriage ended on June 21, 2019, and he did not file suit until August 31, 2021, his claims properly were dismissed pursuant to Article 35.

In rendering its opinion, the court considered the New York State's Executive Order 202.8 (“EO”) enacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to extend/toll the statute of limitations in certain cases. However, the EO merely extended limitations periods that otherwise would have expired between March 3, 2020, and November 3, 2020. It did not lengthen periods that expired after November 3, 2020. Thus, the EO had no impact on the outcome of this case.

Barry v. Maroc, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122225 (S.D.NY. July 8, 2022).

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