The pilot was left with a fear of heights and memory loss after a 19 kilogram loose London Underground sign fell on his head.
Qatar Airways captain and training instructor Piero Burresi-Paone is taking legal action against Transport for London after a loose London Underground sign became dislodged from the ceiling and hit his head last August.
Burresi-Paone was visiting family in the British capital when the incident occurred while walking through Kentish Town station with his wife and daughter.
He was rushed to the hospital after the 19 kilogram sign fell onto him, and was treated for a serious head injury. Doctors called it a miracle that he was still alive after the incident.
“If it had been my daughter who had been struck by the sign she would be dead,” Burresi-Paone told the Evening Standard.
Following the incident, the former pilot’s wife shared that “doctors were concerned that he had fractured his spine or suffered brain damage but when they did all of the tests they said it was a miracle that he had not suffered any serious damage.”
Burresi-Paone was discharged from the hospital five days later, but was left suffering from vertigo, memory loss, and a fear of heights. Due to this, Burresi-Paone lost his job at Qatar Airways.
“They decided to get rid of me,” Burresi-Paone shared with the Evening Standard. “I was devastated and it made me worried that I wouldn’t be able to get another job flying,” he said, noting he has since received treatment for vertigo and is once again fit to fly.
“I am extremely frustrated that nobody has admitted liability even though the sign fell on my head and nearly killed me through no fault of my own,” added Burresi-Paone.
Representing Burresi-Paone, Osbornes Law claimed that the sign had been reported loose before the incident, and that it posed a serious safety risk.
“We take the safety of our network extremely seriously and were very sorry to hear about this incident,” said a statement from a Transport for London spokesperson.
“This incident has had a devastating impact on my client’s life,” commented lawyer Robert Aylott. “He is desperate for liability to be admitted so that he can move on.”