A woman´s claim for restaurant food poisoning has been resolved at the Court of Session in Edinburgh with a jury compensation award of £263,534.
In 2009, Tracey Rae (44) from Falkirk visited the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society´s Restaurant in Edinburgh with her husband and two other couples. Tracey described her experience as a “nice meal” but, the following morning, she woke up feeling unwell.
Throughout the day Tracey suffered from stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea. After she started to pass blood, Tracey saw a doctor – who diagnosed her with a campylobacter infection from eating undercooked chicken livers that had been served in her salad.
Despite taking medication for the infection, Tracey´s symptoms continued. Six months after her visit to the restaurant she was diagnosed with post-infection IBS and told that the condition would remain with her for the rest of her life.
Tracey now has to follow a strict gluten-free and lactose-free diet. She cannot drink alcohol or caffeine and still suffers from pains in her stomach and bowel problems. Because of her symptoms, Tracey has been unable to return to work as an adult literacy tutor.
After seeking legal advice, Tracey made a claim for restaurant food poisoning against James Freeman – trading as Saffron Private Catering – who was in charge of the food preparation at the time. Liability for Tracey´s injury was admitted, but Freeman´s insurance company declined to settle the restaurant food poisoning claim for an acceptable amount.
The claim for restaurant food poisoning went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the assessment of damages. After seven days of evidence, the jury awarded Tracey £263,534 to account for her pain and suffering and loss of earnings. A special consideration of £30,000 was included in the settlement of claim for restaurant food poisoning to account for the additional cost of following a restricted diet.