The High Court of Dublin has awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation for a waitress who suffered a hand injury whilst using jugs that were deemed unfit for purpose.
The waitress in question, Sophie Caillaud (forty-two) sustained an injury to her hand when a glass jug she was filling shattered, causing a deep cut to her thumb. At the time, Sophie was working in the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, Co. Leitrim.
Sophie was brought to hospital, where surgery was carried out to help repair the soft tissue damage to her thumb. However, since the accident Sophie has never been able to regain full strength in the digit and as such has had difficulty carrying out normal, daily tasks.
Sophie sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against her former employer, the Lough Rynn Hotel, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers of the glass jug – Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd and Utopia Tableware Ltd..
The defendants disputed Sophie’s claim for compensation for a waitress hand injury, as they believed the amount being sought was too high. They also argued that it was Sophie’s own negligence that caused her injuries.
Neither negotiations nor the Injuries Board could resolve the case, so it proceeded to the High Court in Dublin where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. There, the judge heard of how other staff members had previously sustained injuries from shattering glass jugs.
An expert witness explained to the court of how the rapid heating and cooling of the jugs in the dishwasher weaker the joint between the handle and the body, concluding they were unfit for purpose.
Sophie also gave evidence at the hearing, after which the judge dismissed any claims by the defendants that she had acted negligently or exaggerated the extent of her injuries. After commenting that he found Sophie to be “entirely genuine”, she was awarded €500,000 compensation.