Bar pleads guilty in liquid nitrogen cocktail case
Source: The Spirits Business
by Amy Hopkins
15th June, 2015
A UK bar has admitted breaching health and safety regulations after a teenager who drank one of its cocktails containing liquid nitrogen had her stomach removed.
Gaby Scanlon, of Lancashire, UK, drank two shots of Jägermeister laced with liquid nitrogen while out with friends celebrating her 18th birthday in Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster in October 2012.
The teenager soon began complaining of severe stomach pains and was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where a CT scan revealed a large perforation where the liquid nitrogen had burned a hole in her stomach and completely destroyed the lining.
Doctors performed a four-hour emergency operation to remove her stomach and connected her oesophagus directly to her small intestine. Scanlon, now 20, spent three weeks in hospital.
After court proceedings commenced in December last year, Oscar’s Wine Bar has now admitted to failing to ensure the drink was safe for consumption at Preston Crown Court, reports the BBC.
The bar’s director Andrew Dunn pleaded not guilty in the case, while charges were dropped against the barman who served the drink, Matthew Harding, after he pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors said they would not present evidence against Dunn if he paid £20,000 towards the prosecutor’s court costs.
Scanlon’s lawyer Patricia Noone told the Lancaster Guardian: “Gaby was an ordinary teenager with a bright future in front of her, but what happened on 4th October, 2012, on what was intended as a low-key celebration for her 18th birthday, completely changed her life.
“She now suffers episodes of agonising pain and has been hospitalised several times. She has to avoid certain foods and can no longer enjoy eating, finding it hard to judge when she is full. She can only eat little and often and sometimes has to get up and snack several times during the night.
“She is unable to work full time due to her lack of energy and frequent illness, and understandably, her condition and the knowledge that crippling pain could attack her at any time has left her anxious.”
Noone added that both she and Scanlon hope the case will “serve as a warning” to all bars and restaurants to take responsibility for what they serve.
Oscar’s Wine Bar will be sentenced on 17 September.