Posted: August 7th, 2015
A District Court judge has halved the amount of compensation awarded to a man after she assigned him fifty percent contributory negligence for an injury he sustained whilst eating in a restaurant.
The accident occurred on the 23rd of March 2013 when Shane McQuillan, aged thirty two from Swords in Dublin, was eating in the Gate Clock Bar in Dublin Airport. Whilst eating a sausage and bacon sandwich, Shane cracked one of his molars.
Shane sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against the bar. In the claim, Shane alleges that his tooth was cracked when he bit into a tough rind of bacon. He claims that this was because the rind had been left out on display “for a number of hours”. However, the owners of the Gate Clock bar denied that they were liable for Shane’s injuries. As such, he was authorised by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim for compensation through the courts.
The claim for restaurant injury compensation was heard earlier this month at the Swords District Court by Judge Patricia McNamara. There, the judge was told that the steel tray from which Shane was served his sandwich was kept over a pan of hot water, and was protected by a glass display. Additionally, the manager claims that the food at the bar is changed every ninety minutes – though she had no written records to confirm this statement.
The legal team representing the bar argued that, had Shane any doubts concerning the freshness of his food, he should not have eaten it. By doing so, he had contributed to his injury.
Shane testified that, because of his injury, he still experiences bouts of pain and has some difficulty eating. Judge McNamara then awarded Shane a compensation settlement consisting of €6,500 in general damages, as well as another €2,500 in special damages.
Yet this figure was then halved to €4,500 when Shane was assigned a fifty percent contributory negligence for not being “careful of a crispy rasher rind”. Judge McNamara added that, had the manager provided adequate records, she would not have awarded Shane any compensation.