London Tube Sign Causes Head Injury

2 Aug 2021 | Rob Aylott

Serious brain injury claim after falling London tube sign knocks pedestrian unconscious.

An airline pilot ‘miraculously’ survived after a 20kg rail sign fell four metres onto his head at a busy London tube station.

Piero Burresi-Paone, 58, from Crouch End, North London, was walking with his wife Federica and six-year-old daughter when he was knocked unconscious by the national rail and tube sign at Kentish Town station.
Doctors said it was a ‘miracle’ that he survived the accident on August 21 last year which left him with vertigo, depression, low energy and memory loss.

Piero, who lost his job as a captain and an instructor at Qatar Airways as a result of the accident, is taking legal action against Tfl through London law firm Osbornes Law.

The unsafe sign was reported to Tfl weeks before the incident, but it is claimed that neither Tfl nor maintenance company Engie did anything about it.

Piero said: “I feel so angry that my daughter had to see what she did and was so scared. Having seen a video of the incident and seeing her terrified face was very difficult to bear as a parent. Why did they not put barriers around the area at least and why did they leave a sign that was dangerous for so long? Why were no safety measures put in place to stop this from happening? If it had been my daughter who had been struck by the sign she would be dead. I am lucky to be alive.

“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. I don’t care if Tfl is disputing who is responsible with the maintenance company, I just want somebody to admit that they were to blame as it has been almost a year since it happened. I want Tfl to make sure they have procedures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

Piero cannot remember the incident, but his wife Federica recalled: “We were walking past the entrance to the station when I saw what looked like a maintenance man holding his hands up to catch something. As we approached he jumped out of the way and at that moment a big national rail and tube sign fell onto Piero’s head. There was blood down his face and I was screaming at the maintenance guy and for somebody to call an ambulance. At that moment I thought Piero was dead as he was lying on the floor lifeless. The man didn’t do anything to help and just walked away. While this was going on my daughter was running around terrified at what she had just seen happen to her father.”

Piero was transferred to St May’s Hospital, Northwest London, where he spent five days.

Federica added: “The doctors were concerned that he had fractured his spine or suffered brain damage but when they did all of the tests the doctors said it was a miracle that he had not suffered any serious damage.”

Piero said that the biggest impact on his family came from losing his role with Qatar Airways. He said: “As a pilot having vertigo is a disaster and it meant that I lost my dream job. I thought my bosses would wait for me to get better but they decided to fire me straight away. I was an instructor for them, so I thought I was a valuable asset, but they decided to get rid of me. I was devastated and it made me worried that I wouldn’t be able to get another job flying. I have managed to have treatment for the vertigo since which means I am safe to fly but this incident and me losing my job has deeply impacted all of our lives. I feel like I have lost everything because of Tfl.”

Robert Aylott, a partner at London Lawyers Osbornes Law, who is representing Piero, said: “This horrific incident has had a devastating impact on my client’s life. He is desperate for liability to be admitted in this case so that he can move on with his life and is extremely frustrated that nobody is accepting responsibility despite this easily preventable incident being no fault of his own. I would urge TfL to make sure safety measures are put in place to ensure nobody has to endure what my client has been through.”

If you have experienced a head injury through no fault of your own and believe you could have a claim, contact our personal injury team on 0207 485 8811 or complete an online enquiry form.

You can also read the press coverage of the story in the Evening Standard and Daily Mail


Share this article


Contact Rob Aylott Today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

    • "Literally, putting your future in their hands, Rob Aylott and the team at Osbornes Law took the uncertainty, vulnerability and fear resulting from a catastrophic life event and turned it into a safety net for the rest of my life. Empathy, professionalism and delivering exactly what they say. You're safe in their hands."

      Neil T

    • "The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."

      Legal 500 2019

    Personal Injury InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. cyclist in camden, london

      Cycling Accident Claims: Client Stories

      GP Awarded £1m Settlement Kate Milton, a Senior Associate at Osbornes Law settled a cycling accident claim for a 52-year-old...

      Read more
    2. forklift truck

      £250,000 settlement for client injured in forklift truck accident

      Sophie Davies, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Osbornes Law, recently represented a client who suffered life-changing injuries following a...

      Read more
    3. Accidente en almacén

      Accident at Work Client Stories

      £20,000 for Industrial Injury Claim Enviro-Strip (UK) Ltd have been ordered to pay £20,000 in accident at work compensation after a worker...

      Read more
    4. road cyclists

      Do you have to wear a bike helmet?

      Should bike helmets be mandatory in the UK? Recently, Dan Walker was involved in a nasty collision with a motorist...

      Read more
    5. green traffic light

      Fatal Accident Case Studies

      Settlement for Pedestrian Killed Crossing the Road Laura Swaine, an Associate at Osbornes Law acted on behalf of a family...

      Read more
    6. Asian women holding a photo frame of lost loved one and crying.

      Bereavement Support Payment

      What are Bereavement Support Payments? Bereavement Support Payments are a benefit historically only available to parents whose husband, wife or...

      Read more
    7. shiba inu dog walking in the dark outdoors

      Claimant receives settlement after vicious dog attack

      The Claimant had been walking her two dogs on the lead, late at night, near to her home. As they...

      Read more
    8. stadium

      Pedestrian receives £1.75 million following amputation

      Kate Milton, acted on behalf of a Romanian National who was hit by a speeding vehicle as she was walking...

      Read more
    9. Rush hour in London

      Motorcyclist receives £3 million in settlement

      Kate Milton, a Senior Associate at Osbornes Law settled a claim for a 27-year-old motorcyclist who was involved in a...

      Read more
    10. Cyclist on a street in London

      Cyclist Receives £50,000 After Hit by Sports Car

      Andrew Middlehurst, a lawyer in the specialist cycling injuries team at Osbornes Law, recently settled a claim for a cyclist...

      Read more
    11. accidente de bicicleta

      London cyclist struck by 4×4 receives settlement

      Andrew Middlehurst, a lawyer in the specialist cycling injuries team at Osbornes Law, recently settled a claim for a cyclist...

      Read more
    12. cars on portobello road

      Car accident client stories

      Below is a summary of the car accident claims that the personal injury specialists in the personal injury claims department...

      Read more
    13. bicycle wheel

      Injured London Cyclist Receives £70,000 Settlement

      Cycling accident lawyer, Laura Swaine, recently settled a claim for an injured cyclist who sustained serious injuries to her wrist...

      Read more
    14. highway code bike lights

      Top 10 Major Highway Code Changes for Cyclists

      New Highway Code rules for cyclists At the end of January 2022, the Highway Code was updated to make British roads...

      Read more
    15. E Bicycle

      Settlement reached for cyclist after insurers deny liability

      Personal Injury specialist, Laura Swaine, recently settled a cycling injury claim following the driver fleeing the accident site and refusing...

      Read more
    16. Ambulance

      Client left with brain injuries after car accident...

      Our Spanish client was the front-seat passenger in a car driven by her husband who was involved in a high-speed...

      Read more
    17. accidente de bicicleta

      £130,000 Settlement for Cyclist Struck by London Taxi

      Andrew Middlehurst, a specialist cycling injury lawyer, has settled a claim for a cyclist who was struck by a black...

      Read more
    18. 20.1.2022

      Cycling accident advice

      Now more than ever before, people are embracing the pleasures and benefits of cycling in and around London. Unsurprisingly, the...

      Read more
    19. doctor brain mri

      Settlement secured for head injury caused by hammer...

      Osbornes Law has secured a £100,000 settlement for her client who suffered serious head injuries after being attacked in prison by...

      Read more
    20. school children writing

      £270,000 settlement for school accident

      Osbornes Law secures a £270,000 settlement for a Polish woman who slipped as a schoolgirl on a wet floor at school....

      Read more
    21. shopping bags

      £100,000 settlement for tripping at work

      Osbornes Law secures £100,000 settlement for Hungarian woman who tripped over a shopping bag at work Siobhan McIvor, a Partner in...

      Read more
    22. factory worker

      £165,000 settlement for factory accident

      Siobhan McIvor, a Partner in the Personal Injury Department of Osbornes Law, has settled a £165,000 accident at work claim, with...

      Read more
    23. house builders

      Significant lump sum for below the knee amputation

      Mr N, a Romanian man in his 30s, came to the UK to work with his father-in-law in early 2018. He...

      Read more
    24. man running with prosthetic leg

      Seven figure leg amputation settlement

      Mr S was walking across the yard at work when he was run over by a forklift truck from behind....

      Read more