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Personal Injury

Customer Assigned Contributory Negligence for Restaurant Injury

Posted: August 7th, 2015

A man, who was injured when he ate an allegedly stale rasher of bacon in a Dublin restaurant, has been assigned fifty percent contributory negligence, reducing his compensation by half.

Shane McQuillan, aged thirty-two from Swords in Co. Dublin, broke his tooth whilst eating a sausage and bacon sandwich at the Gate Clock Bar on the 23rd March 2013.

Shane sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for restaurant injury compensation against the bar. In the claim, he alleged that the staff had left the food on display for “a number of hours” before it was served to him, which resulted in the bacon being stale. However, liability for Shane’s injuries was contested by the owners of the bar. As such, Shane sought authorisation from the Injuries Board to seek compensation in court.

When the permission was granted, Shane’s claim was heard by Judge Patricia McNamara in Swords District Court. The manager of the bar testified that the food served to Shane was taken from a steel tray, which was in turn kept over a pan of hot water behind a glass display. The manager also claimed that the food was changed every ninety minutes, though lacked any paperwork to support this claim.

The solicitor representing Gate Clock Bar argued that Shane was liable for his injury as, had he any doubts concerning the freshness of the meat in his sandwich, that he should not have requested a sandwich with it.

Shane also testified before the judge, explaining that – since the accident – he has experienced pain in his mouth and finds it difficult to drink cold drinks. Judge McNamara subsequently ruled in Shane’s favour, awarding him €2,500 in special damages on top of €6,500 in general compensation.

However, before closing the hearing, the judge commented that her ruling was based on the fact that the bar manager was unable to provide any evidence that the food was changed every ninety minutes. She went on to comment that Shane “should have been careful of a crispy rasher rind” and assigned him fifty percent contributory negligence for his injury, reducing his compensation to €4,500.

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