Man Wins $180,000 After Slipping In A Puddle Of Bailey’s And Hitting His Head At Heathrow Airport

Andreas Wuchner was checking in with British Airways at London Heathrow airport for a flight to Zurich when he slipped in a puddle of Bailey’s liqueur and hit his head when he came down.

British Airways has to pay him approximately $180,000 in strict liability, and he’s now pursuing additional damages for negligence. It took over three years to get this far.

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.

The liquor was spilled by a passenger. Who’s got an open bottle of Baileys at check-in? British Airways is being held liable for not cleaning it up, rather than Heathrow Airport Holdings.

It appears the passenger asked for just under the maximum 128,821 Special Drawing Rights (just over $185,000) permitted under the Montreal Convention, which forecloses the ability of British Airways to avoid liability by proving the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence rather than their own.

However, the passenger now wants to press further arguing British Airways’ negligence for additional damages.

(HT: Oxon Flyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Just today, I watched a women walk into the grocery store and fall and hit her knee and head. The first thing she screamed was “I am going to sue you”! and there was another guy who watched it happen and he replied “The floor isn’t even wet” … which it was not. It made me wonder how often that happens and how much she could potentially get paid had the floor really been wet and slippery.

  2. Typical Bailey’s drinker: sufficiently déclassé to have an open bottle and then to spill it. I wouldn’t use it to clean the toilet. In the same bracket with Galliano and Southern Comfort. I’d sooner drink the cream sherry that comes in a flagon for $5.
    This guy deserves $1,000,000 for getting the putrid muck in his hair.

  3. Considering that this gentleman sustained brain damage as a result of his slip and fall, an award of $ 180,000.00 is peanuts when you take into account the relative effects of this brain damage on his daily functioning for the rest of his life. As a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and management of patients suffering from brain damage and other types of neurological disorders, I can tell you that the $ 180,000 he received will barely cover his medical costs for the rest of his life. Depending on the severity of the brain damage sustained and whether he lost consciousness following the fall, it is very probable that he will end up with some form of neurocognitive impairment that is permanent. These impairments would likely be in his intellectual, speech and language, new leaning and memory and executive functioning e.g., (problem solving, logical thinking, impulse control). Many traumatic brain injury patients also suffer from psychiatric problems post accident. These can include significant depression, anxiety and mania in some cases. Patients who sustain brain trauma also are at much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease during their senior years. Unfortunately, traumatic closed head injury such as this is a “silent injury”. The patient looks very normal when you look at him/her but once you subject him/her to a proper medical examination, all types of problems begin to surface. So before we start thinking that why should he deserve $ 180,000 for a slip and fall, ask yourselves what would you do if you were in that situation? The fact that he is continuing to pursue this case through legal channels tells me that his neurologic damage following this fall is a lot more extensive than any of us know. Thank you..

  4. I neglected to add this to my earlier post. Yes, you can sustain brain damage from this type of fall when you vigorously strike your head against the floor during the fall. This causes the brain to move back and forth inside the skull leading to bruising and axonal shearing (coupe-contre-coup injuries) . Axonal shearing caused by g forces is the main mechanism behind closed head injuries and in particular mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury). We do not know much about this man’s medical history and the precise brain damage sustained by him following this fall. Since he is pursuing litigation, all these questions will be answered in due course. He will be examined by multiple doctors working for both plaintiff and defense and the truth will come out. If it turns out that he has no brain damage then obviously he would not deserve more money. But if turns out that he did in fact sustain brain damage , then he would deserve an award a hell of a lot more than a mere $ 180,000. Yes there are fraudulent cases out there of people injuring their knees, backs and heads in an attempt to make money. But, there are also many legitimate cases. The IME (independent medical examination) process will bring all the facts out in the open. As we know nothing about this man’s true injuries, it is my opinion that we should refrain from judging him, his actions and the merits of his case until further notice.

  5. I know a lawyer how spends the entire year fighting these small claims for a convenience store (Cumberland farms, circle k, todesco, etc) he says his weapon is the stores cameras,as people case the place have someone drop it the fall. Mostly women make the claims

  6. I agree with your lawyer friend. There are many such cases as you describe. The video cameras in fact are the best witnesses to such accidents. . The guy who was given $ 180000 by British airways must have some merit to his case otherwise why would British have given him any money? i am sure there were video cameras at the airport that documented his fall

    The issue now is not whether he fell By the looks of it by paying him $ 180000 British has accepted liability The issue now is damages How badly was he hurt? He is claiming brain damage. British is contesting that The medical legal IME and discovery processes will now bring the truth to the forefront There will be depositions and he will have to subject himself to scrutiny including answering interrogatories

    As this case is in the UK the laws there are different than here in the USA But personal injury litigation which is what this case is all about is somewhat similar in both countries from what I understand from lawyer friends who practice international law There are differences as well too lengthy to list here

    It will be interesting to track this case over time to see what actually happens

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