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BA could pay out £4 million to man who slipped in puddle of Baileys

British Airways could find itself forking out £4m to a passenger who slipped in a pool of spilled Baileys while rushing to catch his flight. 

In April db reported that Swiss national Andreas Wuchner was suing British Airways for an incident in which Wuchner slipped on a puddle of Baileys inside London’s Heathrow airport. Wuchner claims that the accident, which happened in 2017, has led to him suffering from headaches ever since.

In a recent court hearing, Judge David Saunders found that BA was liable for the accident but added that as Wuchner was rushing to catch his flight while holding a container of four takeaway coffees, he would only receive 80% of the value of his £5 million claim, due to his own “contributory negligence”.

The judge found that the accident could have been avoided if BA staff had cleaned up the spillage or cordoned off the mess to warn passengers it was there. However, BA’s barrister argued that it was Wuchner rushing to the boarding gate which caused the incident.

Judge Saunders found both parties to be at fault, though BA more so.

“It seems inevitable that, through his delay and attempt to obtain last–minute coffees, the claimant had placed himself under greater pressure to board the flight in time, having missed his earlier flight, and been delayed in security. It is a likely scenario that he was anxious to catch his flight, and that the pressure he had imposed upon himself had made that pressure even greater. That, in my view, contributed to the accident.”

Continuing, the judge said: “I do find it unusual that no immediate steps were taken by anyone from BA to prevent an accident. Nothing appears to have been placed over the spillage to cover it up. That may have been simply because nothing was available, but it is surprising that this situation could not have been dealt with, at least temporarily, until all the passengers had boarded.”

BA denied that the injuries sustained by Wuchner left him unable to work. Wuchner claims that the “traumatic brain injury” means he is unable to work again.

The value of his payout will be decided at a later trial, unless agreed beforehand. However, Wuchner was compensated with £130,000 for the same incident back in 2021. His legal team are now seeking special damages in the ballpark of £5m.

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