Company boss wins £130,000 payout from British Airways after slipping in puddle of spilt Bailey’s liqueur and hitting his head on floor at Heathrow and could be in line for more
- Andreas Wuchner suffered brain damage after slip near BA check-in desk in 2017
- The businessman’s company folded the next year and he took the airline to court
- Now he has been awarded a £130,000 payout at Central London County Court
- A trial will also go ahead at a later date over whether he is due a bigger payout
A company boss has won a £130,000 payout from British Airways after slipping in a puddle of spilt Bailey’s liqueur and hitting his head on the floor at Heathrow Airport.
Andreas Wuchner suffered brain damage after his foot slipped in the beverage tipped over by a passenger near a BA check-in desk in November 2017.
The businessman’s company folded the next year and he took BA to court, suing over his injuries and for loss of earnings.
Now Judge Simon Monty QC has awarded Mr Wuchner a £130,000 payout and opened the door for him to claim considerably more.
Andreas Wuchner (pictured above) suffered brain damage after his foot slipped in the beverage tipped over by a passenger near a BA check-in desk at Heathrow Airport in 2017
Central London County Court heard that, at the time of the accident, Mr Wuchner had been at the airport to catch a BA jet to Zurich.
He was checking in for his flight when he went head over heels in a puddle of spilt booze.
Natasha Jackson, for Mr Wuchner, told the judge: ‘This was a slip on a spilt bottle of Bailey’s liqueur, but unfortunately he does seem to have suffered some traumatic brain injury as a result.
‘The accident took place on 11 November 2017. My unfortunate client slipped and fell on liquid on the floor while embarking at Heathrow.’
She added: ‘The claim is admitted.’
Ms Jackson also said outside the court: ‘The liquid turned out to be Bailey’s liqueur that hadn’t been cleared up.’
Central London County Court heard that, at the time of the accident, Mr Wuchner had been at the airport (pictured above, file photo) to catch a BA jet to Zurich
It means Mr Wuchner is entitled to £130,000 under a ‘strict liability’ clause of the Montreal Convention – the law which governs payouts for injuries suffered by passengers in the process of embarking on international flights.
That is the normal limit for compensation under the Convention.
However, if negligence on the part of BA staff were to be proved ‘the limit can be exceeded,’ Ms Jackson added.
While telling the judge that Mr Wuchner wants to pocket the £130,000 but press ahead with a bigger claim too, she said ‘much of this claim is a complicated loss of earnings claim’.
Mr Wuchner had been running his own office supplies company but that was ‘liquidated’ in September 2018, ten months after the accident, she said.
Mr Wuchner was checking in for his flight when he went head over heels in a puddle of spilt Baileys (file photo showing bottles of the beverage, pictured above)
She told the judge that the brain-damaged boss wants to call an orthopaedic surgeon, a neurologist and a pain management expert to give evidence about the impact of the slip on his life.
Christopher Loxton, for BA, agreed Mr Wuchner should get the £130,000 payout, telling the judge: ‘I am happy for judgment to be entered for the claimant with damages to be assessed.’
But the airline is arguing that there was no negligence on the part of their staff and that he should not get more.
The judge went on to enter judgement for Mr Wuchner against British Airways PLC, with damages to be assessed.
That guarantees him the £130,000 and a trial will go ahead at a later date over whether he is due a bigger payout.