Tuesday 25 October 2016

Barman lost all feeling in finger using makeshift cocktail shaker, court hears

Ray Managh and Saurya Cherfi

Published 14/04/2015 | 16:31

(Photo by Getty Images)
(Photo by Getty Images)

Cocktail making with a makeshift cocktail shaker cost barman Piotr Skrynkowicz all feeling in the top half of his right-hand middle finger, a court heard today.

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Skrynkowicz told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that, because the top half of a cocktail shaker was missing and had not been replaced, bar staff at Stillorgan Park Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, all used an upturned pint glass to seal the shaker while drinks were being mixed.

He told barrister Shane English, counsel for the hotel, that on the night of August 3, 2013 the glass smashed in his hand while mixing a cocktail for a customer, lacerating his finger and severing the nerve and tendons.

Skrynkowicz (34), of Forster Walk, Lucan, Co Dublin, told the court he drove to hospital where he had undergone surgery for the reconstruction of tendons in his finger.  He had worn a splint for eight weeks and, despite having undergone a course of physiotherapy, had never regained feeling in the top half of his finger which was still numb.

He told his barrister, Paul Gallagher, that the top half of the cocktail shaker had disappeared and had never been replaced by management.  All of the barmen had afterwards used the pint glass system for mixing drinks.  While he had not been too comfortable with using the glass system he said he could not say no to customers.

Piotr Skrynkowicz sued Talbot Hotel Limited and Stillorgan Park Hotel Limited, both with a registered address at St Aidan’s Shopping Centre, Wexford, for damages for personal injuries on the grounds of negligence.

Mr English told the judge that the defendants denied liability and that Mr Skrynkowicz was guilty of contributory negligence, as CCTV stills of the incident showed it happened after he had banged the shaker off the marble counter top, to release the glass.

The court heard several shakers had been available at the hotel, which denied it was common practice to use the pint glass system to mix cocktails.

Judge Linnane, dismissing Skrynkowicz’s claim, said she did not accept that the top half of the shaker had been missing for months. She said Mr Skrynkowicz had been highly trained in mixing cocktails and had been the author of his own misfortune. She awarded legal costs against him.

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