An Australian teenager who suffered burns to his genitals when a coffee was spilt on an international flight is suing Virgin Australia.

Rhett Butler, 16, suffered burns, blisters and scarring to his thighs, groin, genitals and midriff when a cup of coffee served by cabin crew slipped from a tray table into his lap on the May 2015 flight, according to a statement of claim filed in the County Court of Victoria.
The incident occurred soon after takeoff on the Los Angeles to Sydney flight.

Rhett's father, Brian Butler, had to provide medical assistance for the rest of the journey in the "absence" of help from the crew, the claim states.

The tray table did not have a recess to hold a cup securely and was defective, tilting downwards towards the teen, it has been alleged.

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Virgin Australia confirmed the incident on Monday, saying "an incident did occur on flight VA2 from Los Angeles to Sydney on 3 May 2015".

But a spokeswoman for the airline said it would not provide any further comment on the matter.

"Virgin Australia takes the safety and comfort of our passengers extremely seriously, however given this particular matter has not yet been resolved it would not be appropriate to comment any further," the spokeswoman said in a statement.