LONDON — British Airways is being sued by a man who says he suffered personal injury while seated next to an obese passenger.
Stephen Prosser, 51 of south Wales, is suing the airline for £10,000 after being forced to endure a 12-hour flight from Bangkok to Heathrow while seated next to a man “the size of Jonah Lomu”, the late New Zealand rugby player.
While in Pontypridd county court last week, the self-employed civil engineer said his requests to cabin crew to be seated elsewhere were turned down due to the fact that the Boeing 777 was fully booked. He also claimed the crew did not permit him to swap seats with another passenger.
As a result, Prosser, who is 5’3”, was forced into a “position of unnatural posture”. He described the obese passenger as being 6’4” and over 300 pounds, whose body was “overspilling into my seat by some inches”.
Prosser also noted that the passenger had to “force his buttocks between the arm rests of the seats” and that, due to his size, his arm would rest on Prosser’s arm rest, inadvertently turning up the volume of his audio “to an extremely loud volume each time.”
Oh, the horror.
Prosser went on to say that as a result of the uncomfortable flight, which took place in January 2016, he was left with continual back spasms and in injury that caused his sacroiliac joint at the bottom of his spine to malfunction, reports The Guardian. The incident also re-aggravated a 12-year-old spine injury, prevented him from working overtime, affected his relationship with his partner, and forced him to give up mountain biking.
British Airways representative Timothy Salisbury said cabin crew described the passenger as “tall but not overweight so had had encroached on the other seat”.
The customer service manager onboard the flight also said in a witness statement that Prosser did not appear to be in any discomfort during the flight and was seen asleep at times.