A wine bar where an 18-year-old girl was seriously injured drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen has admitted health and safety failings.
Gaby Scanlon, of Heysham, Lancashire, was celebrating her 18th birthday at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster in 2012 when she drank the Nitro-Jagermeister shot.
She said her stomach began to expand and a CT scan at Lancaster Royal Infirmary found a large perforation.
The student spent three weeks in hospital as doctors removed her stomach and connected her oesophagus directly to her small bowel.
Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster admitted one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.
Charges were dropped against barman Matthew Harding, from Lancaster. It had been alleged he presented the Nitro-Jagermeister at the customer’s table when it was still producing cold nitrogen gases and was unsafe to drink.
The firm’s director Andrew Dunn, of Old Earswick, York, pleaded not guilty to his part in the company’s failings. The court heard prosecutors would offer no evidence against him if he made a £20,000 payment towards court costs before the wine bar’s sentencing.
Welcoming the guilty plea, a statement from Miss Scanlon’s solicitor Patricia Noone said the family hoped the case would serve as a warning to all bars and restaurants to take “take responsibility for what they are serving to members of the public”.
It added: “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.”
The statement continued that Miss Scanlon cannot work full-time, adding: “She has had to watch all her friends go off to university while she struggles to get her life back on track.”