British Airways forced to pay $8.4 million to customer who slipped on a puddle of Baileys

Schiphol, The Netherlands - June 12, 2011: British Airways Airbus A320 taking off from Schiphol airport.

A Swiss man has successfully sued British Airways for more than $8 million after he suffered brain damage after slipping on a puddle of Baileys at Heathrow Airport.

In November 2017, Swiss executive Andreas Wuchner was rushing through the busy London airport to make a flight back to Zurich. He had already missed a previous flight due to traffic.

While Wuchner and his business partner made the gate, Wuchner then decided to go to Starbucks to buy two espressos and two macchiatos. Carrying the hot drinks, Wuchner didn’t notice there was a puddle of Baileys alcohol on the floor. He slipped and bumped his head.

He since claims to suffer from regular headaches lasting up to two weeks. He says his work was impacted and he had to give up his office supplies business as a result of the symptoms he suffered following the accident. British Airways have reportedly refuted these claims.

“I really enjoy a proper coffee out of a coffee machine, rather than the normal airport coffee, which is why I went to Starbucks,” Wuchner reportedly said when he was asked why he stopped for the hot drinks.

He added in his evidence: “I was told I went two metres in the air, that’s what was said to me.”

Judge David Saunders ruled in favour of Wuchner saying that it was “unusual” that no one from British Airways had decided to clean up the spillage.

He did, however, award Wuchner only 80 per cent of his initial $10.4 million claims, saying that the passenger should have taken more care to look where he was going.

He said: ‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it was probably not the best decision that he has ever made, and one that he now surely regrets.

This was the second time Wuchner has been paid out by the airline. His first victory was won in 2021 when he was awarded $230 in damages.

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