Thursday , April 15 2021

One sues British Airways to "sit next to fat passengers" | Business



A holidaymaker who suits British Airways for £ 10,000 has told a court that he was injured after being forced to squeeze into a seat next to an obese man who was "the size of Jonah Lomu".

Stephen Prosser, 51, claims that he suffered personal injury and loss of profits after being seated next to the big passenger during a 12-hour flight from Bangkok to Heathrow.

On Friday, Pontypridd County Court, the self-employed civil engineer, claims cabin crew ignored his complaint that he would be injured if he was forced to sit next to the "extremely big" passenger, described as 6ft 4in (1.93 meters) and weighs about 22 stones (140kg ).

Prosser, who is 1.60 meters, said: "He was so big that he had to force his buttocks between the armrests on the seats.

"He sat with his knees stuck to the front of the seat and the rest of his body floated in my place with a few inches.

"I was immediately aware that this would be problematic for me and I could feel the importance of his pure mass that put the side pressure on my upper body. This forced me to a position of unnatural posture.

"Because of the size of him when he put his arm down sometimes it would rest on my armrest, and he would accidentally change the volume of my sound to an extremely high volume each time."

He said he chose not to raise a problem with the passenger because he seemed "self-conscious" but complained to the cabin crew, who claimed he had no other seats available on the fully booked Boeing 777 and did not allow him to swap with anyone else.

Prosser, from Penygraig in Tonypandy, southern Wales, said that in January 2016 the event left him with a continuous backbone and an injury that caused his sacroiliac joint in the bottom of his backbone to malfunction.

He said that he was forced to an unnatural position during long-haul flights also worsened a 12-year spinal injury caused by driving long distances for work.

He said he could not work overtime because of his back pain, and he left no energy that had affected his relationship with his partner and forced him to give up a mountain bike.

Timothy Salisbury, representing British Airways, said that Prosser was "excessive" by comparing the second passenger to the late New Zealands rugby legend Jonah Lomu, who was 1.93 meters tall and weighed 120 kg.

Salisbury said, "You say the man reminded you of late rugby player Jonah Lomu. Could you say that it's a colorful explanation? An exaggeration?"

Prosser replied, "Not at all."

Salisbury said cabin crews on the flight described the passenger as "long but not overweight so he had been in second place".

Chris McLindon, Customer Service Director on board the flight, said in a testimony that Prosser did not appear to be discomfort and "sometimes he slept".

The hearing continues.


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