Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Johnny Lee Baynes, J.), dated May 19, 2011.
Konstantin v Aerosvit Airlines
Decided on March 21, 2013
Appellate Term, Second Department
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
PRESENT: PESCE, P.J., WESTON and SOLOMON, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $434.
ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, without costs, and the action is dismissed.
In this small claims action, plaintiff seeks to recover the sum of $734, representing damages he allegedly incurred as a result of a delay in international air travel. At a non-jury trial, the evidence established that plaintiff had purchased an airline ticket from defendant to travel from Kiev, Ukraine, to New York, with an intermediate stop in Tel Aviv, Israel. However, due to a delay leaving Kiev, plaintiff failed to make his connecting flight in Tel Aviv. Defendant provided him with a hotel room in Tel Aviv and a ticket to complete his journey on El Al Airlines. Plaintiff arrived in New York on December 26, 2010, 13 hours later than originally scheduled. Following the trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $434.
Even in the Small Claims Part of the court, proof of damages is an essential element of a prima facie case (see Estevez v Skorishchenko, 33 Misc 3d 138[A], 2011 NY Slip Op 52076[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2011]). Since plaintiff failed to provide any proof of his claimed expenses, we conclude that the judgment in his favor failed to render substantial justice between the parties in accordance with the rules and principles of substantive law (CCA 1804, 1807).
Accordingly, the judgment is reversed and the action is dismissed.
Pesce, P.J., Weston and Solomon, JJ., concur.