Miss E was served oyster shells in a restaurant and the chef had removed the top half of the shells before serving. Miss E ate the oyster in the traditional way by swallowing the oyster whole when she suddenly felt something sharp lodged in her throat. She eventually coughed up a large piece of oyster shell which was hidden under the oyster, this piece of shell would have been part of the top shell which had been removed by the chef.
The oyster shell punctured Miss E’s esophagus resulting in Miss E undergoing two operations.
Miss E instructed Hayward Baker personal injury Solicitors to pursue her claim after she found their details whilst doing an internet search for a compensation lawyer.
Hayward Baker solicitors wrote to the Defendant (restaurant owner) blaming them for the accident because the defendant, his agent or servant was negligent in failing to take any or any adequate care in the preparation of the oysters and in keeping the oysters free from foreign bodies such as shards of shell; failed to institute or enforce any or any adequate system of quality control or to inspect or check the oysters before delivering them to customers; failed to warn the Claimant of the presence of the shard of shell; and that the circumstances of the incident speak for themselves. Further the Defendant is vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of its employees in failing to notice the presence of the shard of oyster shell. As a result the Claimant has suffered personal injury, loss and damage.
The defendant insurers queried accident because it was not reported until two days later and then by email. Also they said that Miss E should know that there may be a shell or other hard substances as the shell is an intrinsic part of an oyster. They also questioned whether Miss E should have been warned about the possibility of the shell as there were warning signs up in the bar and on the menus. Miss E should have taken more care when eating the oysters.
However that said the insurers admitted liability some weeks latter subject to medical evidence proving causation.
Miss E was advised of the liability decision and was told that a medical appointment would be arranged for her once she had had an operation to remove her tonsils. In the meantime Hayward Baker requested medical records from the hospital that treated Miss E as the medical export would need to see these before the medical examination took place.
Once the medical examination was over the medical expert formulated his report and this was sent to Hayward Baker. The consultant confirmed in his report that bthe injuries were as a result of the accident as Miss E had no medical history to suggest it was a pre-existing condition. Miss E was sent a copy of the report and a draft copy of her out of pocket expenses which included travel expenses and a loss of earnings from where she took time off from work sick. Once Miss E had read the report and checked the schedule of out of pocket expenses she signed and returned the authority that was attached confirming that she was now happy for her solicitor to value her claim.
Compensation was valued for the pain and suffering between £1,500.00 and £1,700.00 and the schedule of out of pocket expenses claim amounted to £206.00 which it was believed the solicitor would recover between 3120.00 and £150.00.
Miss e was advised by her solicitor to make an offer to settle for £6,000.00 on the basis that the insurers would try to knock them down and to settle for anything over £2,000.00. Should this amount not be accepted then they would consider issuing court proceedings and let a judge decide.
Miss E was happy with the valuation and signed the authority allowing her solicitor to disclose the medical report and schedule of out of pocket expenses to the insurers and put forward the offer of £6,000.00.
An offer was made by the insurers for £4,500.00 but Miss E’s solicitor asked them to increase this to £5,000.00 and they will take advice from their client Miss E.
The insurers agreed to an offer in full and final settlement for £5,000.00 and Miss E was advised to take this amount by her solicitor.
Miss E accepted the offer and the claim came to an end.