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Swiss businessman sues British Airways for ₹ 52 crore after liquor slip.

Photo : Reuters

A Swiss businessman, Andreas Wuchner, has filed a lawsuit against British Airways, seeking £5 million (approximately Rs 52.88 crore), following a brain injury sustained at Heathrow Airport. The incident occurred in 2017 during Wuchner's travel from London to Zurich, where he slipped on a puddle of Baileys liqueur. Wuchner, who operated an office supplies company, claims that the head injuries from the fall led to the collapse of his business.

According to the complaint, the fall resulted in persistent headaches, forgetfulness, and concentration issues, severely impacting his ability to work. Consequently, his office supplies company was forced to shut down. Wuchner attributes his ongoing struggles to concentrate to the traumatic brain injury incurred during the fall.

While Wuchner was initially awarded £130,000 in February 2021, the case is returning to court for a pre-trial hearing to determine British Airways' potential negligence.

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Recounting the incident, Wuchner described hurrying to the boarding gate after ordering coffee at Starbucks. He was carrying four cups of coffee when a British Airways employee urged him to hasten. While walking swiftly, Wuchner slipped on the spilled Baileys near the BA desk, causing him to flip two meters in the air, lose grip of the coffee cups, and hit his head on the floor.

British Airways has contested the amount sought by Wuchner, citing the Montreal Convention, which limits the airline's liability. Tom Bird, the barrister representing British Airways, highlighted significant factual disputes surrounding the accident's circumstances, the extent of Wuchner's injuries, and his company's insolvency.

The trial, scheduled to take place over four days in Central London County Court, will feature testimony from medical professionals, including neurologists and orthopaedic surgeons, to assess the nature and impact of Wuchner's injuries.

May 16, 2024 4:39 p.m. 9711

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