Stephen Prosser (pictured) is suing BA for sitting him next to an overweight passenger
A company director is taking British Airways to court after claiming he suffered a pelvic injury from being wedged in next to an obese passenger on a 13-hour flight.
Stephen Prosser, who is only 5ft 2in, is suing the airline after claiming that he was forced to sit crushed against the side of the plane by a 6ft 5in man weighing 23-stone who was sat in the middle.
Mr Prosser, 51, claims BA staff refused to intervene and ask the man to move seats, during the flight from Bangkok to London Heathrow.
He said that, as a result, he suffered nerve damage in his back and his pelvis was knocked out of alignment, forcing him to see a chiropractor for two years following the flight in January 2016.
Mr Prosser, a freelance civil engineer from Tonypandy in South Wales, is seeking damages and loss of earnings claiming he had to limit his work for three months after the injury. The case will be heard on Friday at Pontypridd County Court.
Speaking to MailOnline, he said: ‘I’d spent Christmas 2015 with some friends in Thailand and was returning home on January 10, 2016.
‘I’d paid over £1,000 for the flight and usually I fly Thai Airways but because BA had a sale on and were cheaper I went with them.
‘Just as the plane door was about to close, this 6ft 5in elk, weighing about 23-stone got on-board and sat between myself and another passenger who had the aisle seat.
Mr Prosser (pictured in Thailand) says he is only 5ft 2in and he was wedged for 13 hours as a 6ft 5in male passenger weighing around 23 stone was sat in the middle seat next to him
Mr Prosser, a freelance civil engineer from Tonypandy in South Wales, is seeking damages and loss of earnings from British Airways, claiming he suffered back and pelvis injuries on the flight
‘He was a huge bloke, not just overweight but really big boned as well. He was a real lump.
‘I felt discomfort as soon as he sat down because I was pinned against the side of the cabin. I’m only about 5ft 2in and weigh 10 stone.
‘I suffered problems with my posture 12-years ago when I used to drive to Kent for work every week so I knew I was in trouble straight away.
‘As soon as the plane had taken off and we were allowed out of our seats I took the matter up with the flight attendants.
‘I asked whether they could move him or move me but it was a full flight and they decided not to move me to a crew member’s seat because I’d have to keep on getting up to allow them to get to the galley.
‘They said there wasn’t anything they could do so I said I wanted to make a formal complaint which I did with the on-board customer services rep.
‘But he went off to write a report on his iPad and I didn’t see him again until an hour before landing.
‘I had no choice but to go back to my seat and the discomfort at being squashed up against the cabin soon turned to agony.
‘To be honest the big guy looked in pain himself as he had his knees wedged into the seat in front so I didn’t want to bother him personally.
‘I think it’s up to the staff to take control of a situation like that and they should have asked the passenger on the aisle seat to swap with the larger man in the middle.
‘But they didn’t and I ended up doing a lot of damage to my back over the course of a nightmare 13-hours.’
The father-of-two said he had to see a chiropractor after the flight and was unable to work for three months due to the injuries he says he sustained during the flight home from Bangkok
Mr Prosser says he saw a private chiropractor when he returned home who said he had damaged his Sacroiliac Joints between his spine and pelvis.
He also said that his pelvis was seven degrees out of alignment as a result.
The father-of-two says he continued to see the chiropractor up until May this year.
He added: ‘I landed in London at about 7pm and drove the three hours home down the M4.
‘When I got into work the following morning, people were commenting on my posture so I saw a local private chiropractor.
‘He lay me flat down on the bed and noted that because my pelvis was out of alignment, my right leg was a few inches shorter than my left.
‘During the flight my back had spasmed and my muscles contracted and pulled the pelvis up to protect it.
‘For three months I was in a lot of pain but because safety is paramount in my job the sort of painkillers I can take are limited.
‘The chiropractor worked on me for the best part of two years until about six months ago.’
Mr Prosser said that he filled out an online complaint form on the BA website when he found out the extent of the damage to his back.
However when he got no reply after a couple of weeks, he decided to email Troy Warfield, the then director of customer experience, directly.
He added: ‘British Airways shouldn’t be able to get way with this so that’s why I’ve gone down the legal route.
‘I fly all the time and long-haul flights were absolutely no problem for me until this particular incident.
‘For three months afterwards I had to limit the hours I worked because of the pain and as a freelance civil engineer, if I don’t work I don’t earn any money.’
A spokeswoman for BA said that the company was resisting the claim, adding: ‘However, as the case is subject to ongoing proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment.’