Sunday 18 August 2019

Girl scalded by spilled Starbucks tea settles case for €85,000

Mother Siobhan Mooney. Photo: Collins
Mother Siobhan Mooney. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A 12-year-old girl has settled a High Court action for €85,000 after her arm was scalded when a takeaway cup of tea in Starbucks spilled on her.

Demi Mooney, now 16, was in the Starbucks branch at Henry Street, Dublin, with her grandmother on December 21, 2014.

She bought a Frappuccino coffee, a tea and a large cookie, the court was told.

She was carrying the iced coffee in her left hand, the cookie in her right and the tea between her elbow and ribs when the hot beverage spilled on her.

In the action, brought on her behalf by her mother, Siobhan Mooney, it was claimed that the young Ms Mooney should have been provided with a tray for the hot drinks, particularly as she was a child.

Coffee Unlimited Company, trading as Starbucks, fully contested the case and the court heard there were issues of whether the customer had been offered a tray, and of contributory negligence.

Michael Byrne SC, for Ms Mooney, said an offer of €85,000 had been made by the defendant.

Given the claim of contributory negligence, which counsel said was in the region of 20 to 25pc, and a prognosis that the scarring to her arm was permanent, it was felt that this was a fair and reasonable offer.

Immediately after the accident, the 12-year-old received assistance from a nurse and doctor who were on the premises.

She went to Temple Street Children's Hospital where she underwent repeated treatments in the Plastics Clinic as well as for occupational therapy.

Counsel said her consultant was of the view that because the scarring to her arm was permanent, further treatment would make things worse rather than better.

The main difficulties for her were cosmetic, and she wears long-sleeved garments.

She was at an age when appearances are particularly important, the court was told.

Mr Justice Simons was satisfied to approve the offer, as it would come very close to what a judge might decide the case was worth if it were successful at trial.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News