Family sue Wetherspoon after man falls to death in city pub

The Queen of Iceni pub in Norwich. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

The Queen of Iceni pub in Norwich. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

A family is suing a giant booze company after a grandad died as a result of falling down the stairs of a riverside pub.

Brian McAlister died at the age of 74 in January 2018 due to the impact of paralysis following a fall in the Queen of Iceni Wetherspoon venue in April 2016. 

He fell down the stairs of the pub after making his way to the toilet on the upper floor of the building during a stag do.

An environmental health report published six months after the grandad's fall referred to the Queen of Iceni staircase’s "unusual design" as being a safety risk.

It stated that someone who falls on the staircase is more likely to hit the handrail because it "cuts across the direction in which a person falling is likely to travel".

The report deemed the staircase's design means customers visiting Queen of Iceni for the first time "would not appreciate the increased risk when climbing the stairs".

The stairs have subsequently been redesigned. 

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Now Mr McAlister's family has taken the case to the High Court with a full trial of the claim scheduled for a later date. 

A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment given the ongoing nature of the litigation.”

In papers filed at the High Court, the family’s barrister Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC said the incident was visible on CCTV footage.

Beer gardens were busy in Norwich on Saturday afternoon 

The Queen of Iceni pub in Norwich - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

The pensioner slid down the staircase bannister and toppled over it after he began walking up the stairs.

He fell 9ft and landed on his head.

Mr McAslister suffered a skull fracture and was left in a wheelchair before the impact of the paralysis brought on by the spinal injuries led to his death on New Year's Day in 2018.

The barrister has been contacted for comment.

Her London-based company One Crown Office Row referred the Evening News to the solicitor instructing them, who is Damian Horan at Aspire Law.

Mr Horan has also been contacted.