A man has recently come forward to sue British Airways for being seated next to an obese passenger on a flight more than two years ago. According to the man, the seating arrangement left him injured.
According to a report by USA Today, the man — identified as Stephen Prosser — said that he was seated next to an extremely large passenger which made the journey very unpleasant. The airline issued a statement on Saturday in which it confirmed that the incident took place.
“We welcome all passengers aboard our aircraft and our crew are trained to ensure passengers have a comfortable journey,” the statement read. “We are pleased that our crew provided additional pillows and blankets to help Mr. Prosser have a more restful trip.”
The statement added that British Airways is “resisting the claim,” but further comments could not be provided to media because the case is still in progress and is subject to ongoing proceedings, the report said.
According to the Independent and CNN, the incident took place in January 2016, when Mr. Prosser, 51, from South Wales was seated next to an “extremely large” passenger during a 12-hour flight from Bangkok to London. He told officials at the Pontypridd County Court on Friday that the experience left him with a “back spasm and pelvic injury.”
Per a report by the BBC, Prosser described the passenger to be obese as well as tall and estimated that he was around 6ft 4in (193.04 cm) in height and in excess of 22 stones.
He said that the man had to “physically squeeze himself between the armrests.” His buttocks were bulging onto Prosser’s side and the rest of his bulk spilling over.
“I sat with his knees wedged against the seat in front and the rest of his body was over spilling into my seat by some inches. 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.”
Prosser explained that because of the injuries he suffered during the flight, he was unable to go work for three months and had to see a chiropractor for two years after the incident. He also said that he didn’t want to confront the passenger because he appeared “self-conscious.”
Prosser informed the cabin crew about the situation and complained about the ordeal he had to go through but they told him that no other seats were available at the time to accommodate him.
According to the BBC, the total amount in damages and loss of earnings that Prosser suffered is believed to be in the region of £7,500 ($9,600).