Friday 30 September 2016

Student (15) who developed food aversion after chewing on plastic shards while eating ice cream, is awarded €25,000 damages

Saurya Cherfi

Published 21/10/2015 | 12:37

Tara Dwyer, whose 15-year-old daughter developed a food aversion after chewing on plastic shards while eating ice cream. Photo: Courtpix
Tara Dwyer, whose 15-year-old daughter developed a food aversion after chewing on plastic shards while eating ice cream. Photo: Courtpix

A 15-year-old student, who developed a food aversion after chewing on plastic shards while eating ice cream, has been awarded €25,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

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The court heard that in November 2013, Jordan Dwyer and her mother Tara Dwyer, had bought a cardboard tub of ‘Carte D’Or’ ice cream at the café section of Applegreen Filling Station, Stillorgan Road in Dublin.

Barrister Eileen McAuley said Jordan, of Goatstown Close, Goatstown, Dublin, was eating the ice cream, which had been scooped out of a larger tub by a staff member, when she felt something crunchy.

When Jordan, who was 13-year-old at the time, had realised she had been chewing on hard objects, she took them out of her mouth, which had been bleeding, and discovered a shard and a ball of plastic. 

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Jordan, who had swallowed some plastic pieces, was taken to the A&E Department of Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, complaining of pain in her mouth and stomach.  No oral cavity injury had been visible.

Ms McAuley said Jordan had been in agony with cramping pain for a number of days and had needed to return to hospital.  She had been off school for a week.

Through her mother Tara Dwyer, Jordan sued Petrogas Group Ltd, which trades as Applegreen Mount Merrion Stillorgan Road, with an address at Joyce Way, Parkwest, Dublin, and the ice cream manufacturer, Unilever Ireland Ltd, of Riverwalk, National Digital Park, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin, for negligence.

She claimed the filling station had failed to examine and inspect the ice cream original tub to ensure no pieces of shards from the plastic lid had got into it.

She alleged Unilever Ireland Ltd had been careless when producing the ice cream and had failed to have a proper system of quality control at its factory. The court heard Jordan had suffered shock, trauma and distress and had developed a food aversion since the incident. 

Ms McAuley said the defendants had made a €25,000 settlement offer which she recommended to the court.  Judge Groarke approved it.

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