Man Sues British Airways For Sitting Him Next To Overweight Passenger
By Parker Diakite
A man is suing British Airways for being seated next to an obese passenger that he claims left him injured on a 12-hour flight from Bangkok to London.
In his lawsuit, 51-year-old Stephen Prosser said British Airways crew members ignored his complaints that he would be injured if forced to sit next to the “extremely large” passenger, as reported in The Guardian. Prosser, who is reportedly 5 feet and 3inches, describes the passenger as 6 feet 4 and more than 300 pounds.
According to Prosser, the passenger he described as overweight sat with his knees wedges against the seat in front while the rest of his body over-spilled into Prosser’s seat. “I was immediately aware that this was going to be problematic for me and I could feel the weight of his pure bulk putting lateral pressure on my upper body,” The Guardian reported him saying. “This forced me into a position of unnatural posture.”
Prosser said he chose not to take issue with the passenger because he seemed self-conscious, but complained to cabin crew who told him no seats were available on the fully booked Boeing 777. He is seeking more than $12,000 because he said the incident left him with back spasms and a pelvic injury.
As reported in The Guardian, Prosser said being forced into an unnatural position during the long-haul flight also aggravated a 12-year-old spine injury caused by driving long distances for work. Because of the incident, Prosser claims that he has been unable to work overtime as a result of his back pain, and was left lacking energy, which had affected his relationship with his partner and forced him to give up mountain biking.
Chris McLindon, the customer service manager on board the flight, said in a witness statement that Prosser did not appear to be in discomfort and was at times asleep during the flight. “I regularly walked down the aisle and Mr. Prosser was not sat in an unnatural position for an economy seat,” McLindon told the BBC. “When Mr Prosser left the aircraft, I watched him walk down the jetty in a perfectly normal manner and he showed no signs of injury.”