Man Claims Against British Airways For Being Seated Next to “An Obese Passenger”

Posted: 7/1/2019

    Why did he want to claim against British Airways?

    We have been following the story reported in the press (most recently on the Guardian website 29th November 2018) of a man who has claimed in the Welsh courts against British Airways. He is claiming that he had been injured after being forced to sit next to a very large man who encroached onto his space on a long flight. He described the man as being 6ft 4in (193cm) and weighing approximately 22 stone (140kg).  This claimant,  Mr Stephen Prosser, said that as a result of his difficulties during the flight his existing back complaint had been exacerbated, leading him to take time of work.

    The Verdict of the Claim

    Mr Prosser tried to claim for £4000 in loss of wages due to his back pain, however the Judge ruled against him and dismissed his case.  The Judge’s comments are reported as “I do not accept the suggestion that his size (the other passenger) was such that Mr Prosser was compelled to sit in an awkward way for the duration of the flight by virtue of him encroaching upon his sitting area”.

    There are a couple of points that arise from this case…

    Firstly,  Mr Prosser was going on the basis of his description of the other party but had not taken a photograph of the fellow passenger to show just how large he was and how he was encroaching onto his space.  Of course we all know that in aeroplanes, at certain points, tell us to switch our mobile phones off. However if Mr Prosser had taken a photograph before or after this time, it might have made his case much easier to prove.  The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true in the world of claims.

    If you have suffer an injury anywhere and are left with bruising,  it is always helpful to take photographs showing the bruising before it disappears.

    Secondly, injuries can occur whilst on an aeroplane and you have a right to claim.  For example if an airline attendant were to spill hot coffee on you, as they lent over to serve a customer on the other side of you.  We are happy to look at the circumstances of any accident that you have had on a flight to see if there might be a realistic prospect of a recovery for you.

    Thirdly, Mr Prosser was returning from holiday.  There had been much publicity in the press recently about people having suffered from food poisoning whilst staying at resorts.  If you have had problems on your holiday with, for example, food poisoning we are happy to discuss those circumstances with you to see if there may be a prospective claim.

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