British Airways is forced to pay £ 130,000 after a man slipped in a puddle at Bailey’s in Heathrow … but maybe the case isn’t quite as frivolous as it sounds.
Details of British Airways Heathrow Baileys slip
On November 11, 2017, Andreas Wuchner flew with British Airways from London Heathrow to Zurich. Near the check-in counter, Wuchner slipped into a Baileys puddle and hit his head on the floor.
It is alleged that the man suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the incident. He also previously ran an office supply company, but it was wound up in September 2018, about 10 months after the Heathrow accident. The man is now suing British Airways for both injuries and loss of earnings.
I’m curious about the logistics of the spill. How exactly did another passenger spill Baileys in the check-in hall? Did the person have an open liquor container, the bottle fell and cracked or what?
The traveler left £ 130,000 looking for more
A judge has awarded Wuchner £ 130,000 under the Montreal Convention’s strict liability clause, which regulates payouts for injuries to passengers on international flights. This is the limit for compensation under the Montreal Convention, and this also applies to situations where negligence has not been found.
If negligence on the part of British Airways can be proven, this limit may be exceeded. For this reason, Wuchner is now pushing a claim for loss of profit, as his company was allegedly partially liquidated due to this incident. Wuchner’s lawyer wants to bring in experts like an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist and a pain management expert to show that the slip had a huge impact on his life.
Of course I’m not a lawyer, but it’s interesting to me that the airline is liable here and not the airport. On the surface, you might think that the airport is responsible for maintaining the terminal areas. It is one thing if British Airways staff saw the mayhem but did nothing about it, but there is no evidence that anyone at the airline knew it. I think that’s because passengers are contracting with airlines, not airports.
What the Montreal Convention says
The Montreal Convention regulates many aspects of aviation, although I never fully realized how extensive consumer protection was. Surely airlines are not liable for every kind of injury that may occur while traveling? Well, in Chapter III, Article 17, it says:
“The carrier is liable for damage in the event of death or personal injury to a passenger only on the condition that the accident that caused the death or injury occurred on board the aircraft or during an embarkation or disembarkation process . ”
One has to wonder if there are any limitations because it is really, really broad …
British Airways pays £ 130,000 after a man slipped into a Baileys puddle at a check-in counter, despite the airline not being found negligent. If the airline turns out to be negligent, the man may be entitled to more.
On the one hand, it seems like this guy had some serious consequences from the fall. On the other hand, the man is recognized for it, although British Airways has not been found negligent.
What do you think of this British Airways Baileys case?