Dagenham woman ‘tripped over sleeping airline steward and broke nose’ in plane aisle
PUBLISHED: 13:52 25 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:44 25 February 2015
An Elvis fan who allegedly tripped over an air steward sprawled across the business class aisle of a flight has received £2,000 in compensation – from her own lawyer.
Shaunna Baynes, of Oval Road North, Dagenham, said she spent six weeks after the fall in a mobility scooter because it was “too painful” to walk.
She was returning to the UK after visiting Graceland – and her husband bumped her up to business class as a 40th birthday treat.
But during a 2am toilet trip on the British Airways flight, she said, she fell over a steward in the public gangway of the aircraft.
Shaunna told the Post: “He was sleeping there. His whole body was lying right across the aisle. I broke my nose, bruised my arm and did my hip in.
“An old woman came and picked me up.
“I dread to think [what would have happened] if it had been an elderly person who tripped.
“It actually ruined a fantastic birthday present. I doubt I’ll ever fly again.”
Shaunna, now 42, suffers from osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and a spinal fracture.
She said the fall, which happened in November 2012, worsened her conditions and made it difficult to walk for six weeks.
But two and a half years after seeking compensation, the £2,000 that landed on her doorstep was not from British Airways but from her own solicitor.
Peter Cornish from Amwells in Islington admitted he missed the deadline to bring a claim against BA.
The solicitor had thought he had longer to deal with the case – but was unaware of a two-year limitation period that applies to incidents involving flights.
Mr Cornish told the Post he had dealt with personal injury claims for 13 years but never cases in the air.
“She’s a nice lady and I made an error as a lawyer, which I wouldn’t usually do. It was because of the two-year limitation period, so I said we’re happy to pay up for this.”
A British Airways spokesman said: “We are always disappointed to hear that customers have not had a good experience with us and we are sorry that Ms Baynes hurt herself during one of our flights.”
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