Man Suing British Airways for £5 Million After Slipping in a Puddle of Baileys

Andreas Wuchner, a Swiss businessman, is suing British Airways for £5 million after suffering a brain injury at Heathrow Airport in November 2017 when he slipped on a puddle of Baileys liqueur near a British Airways check-in desk that had been spilled by another passenger. 

According to the complaint, the fall resulted in headaches, forgetfulness, and concentration issues that impacted Wuchner’s ability to work, ultimately causing his office supplies company to shut down. A London court already awarded Mr. Wuchner £130,000 in February 2021 under the Montreal Convention, which outlines passenger rights on international flights, but the case is now returning to court for a pre-trial hearing, where the focus will be on whether British Airways was negligent (which it denies).

These cases are mighty interesting

If this incident did in fact lead to the closure of Andreas Wuchner’s company and if British Airways was actually negligent in not clearing up the puddle of Baileys sooner, I hope Wuchner receives more compensation than the £130,000 he’s already been awarded. 

Of course, it’s hard to know whether these types of claims have actual merit or whether they’re frivolous, but they’re always interesting to follow–as in the recent case of the man suing El Al after getting stuck in a business class seat on a flight from New York to Tel Aviv.

That said, the protections outlined in the Montreal Convention are very broad, so it’s entirely possible that Wuchner ends up a multimillionaire:

The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking. – Chapter III Article 17

Either way, I’ll be following this one keenly.

1 comment
  1. While he may get damages if BA is found to be negligent for his personal injuries (and his inability to work / foregone compensation etc.), he likely won’t for the business shutting down, as that’s unlikely to be seen as a direct or reasonably foreseeable consequence that would result from the injury (it’s indirect and not something everyone would suffer if they had the same injury).

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