€85,000 for spilling tea on yourself

WolfeTone

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It might worth noting that no actual award was made in this case. This was a settlement. The defendant offered the €85,000 by way of compensation, the claimant accepted and settled for it.
 

Firefly

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It might worth noting that no actual award was made in this case. This was a settlement. The defendant offered the €85,000 by way of compensation, the claimant accepted and settled for it.
Presumably the defendant feared an even higher amount might be paid out in court.

We really need to stop this nonsense.
 

WolfeTone

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226
Presumably the defendant feared an even higher amount might be paid out in court.

We really need to stop this nonsense.
Perhaps.

Presumably they thought this because they felt they were negligent and liable to pay more despite apparently fighting the case all the way?

The full facts of the case are not known. If we are to start presuming one thing we may as well presume lots of other things.

Was the child customer served by another child (employee under 18yrs)?
Was the employee who served the child trained in accordance with Starbuck employee training procedures?
Is such training a requirement of Starbucks to hold and maintain the franchise?

If the answer to the first question is yes, second one no, and third question yes, then presumably Coffee Unlimited Ltd feared they may have a lot more to lose other than €85,000 if held to be liable in court while trading under the Starbucks brand.

But that is all presumption and speculation, and perhaps somewhat unfair on the business.
But the facts are, a child suffered burns in coffee shop and the company settled for compensation of €85,000. No award was made as was suggested in the OP.
 

peemac

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Pity some of the judges who hand out cims like confetti are not more like Jacqueline Linnane - one of the few that are wise to shenanigans.

Not only did she throw out the case, but directed that the files be sent to the dpp AND the insurance company should contact the Law Society in relation to the solicitors. She all but said that the solicitors should have known better. We can all read in between the lines

 

WolfeTone

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Pity some of the judges who hand out cims like confetti are not more like Jacqueline Linnane - one of the few that are wise to shenanigans.

Not only did she throw out the case, but directed that the files be sent to the dpp AND the insurance company should contact the Law Society in relation to the solicitors. She all but said that the solicitors should have known better. We can all read in between the lines

Surely genuine claims should be upheld? Fraudulent claims should of course be thrown out and I would be in favour of laws that penalize people for taking fraudulent claims. But it is a difficult area. Just because a claimant cannot prove liability doesn't mean the claim was fraudulent.
The law needs to be tightened to cut out fraudulent claims. It is leading to a perception that genuine claimants, even those who settle for €85,000, are somehow on the gravy train.
 

peemac

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Surely genuine claims should be upheld? Fraudulent claims should of course be thrown out and I would be in favour of laws that penalize people for taking fraudulent claims. But it is a difficult area. Just because a claimant cannot prove liability doesn't mean the claim was fraudulent.
The law needs to be tightened to cut out fraudulent claims. It is leading to a perception that genuine claimants, even those who settle for €85,000, are somehow on the gravy train.
Almost all genuine claims are settled via PIAB or settled by the insurance companies and anyone with a genuine case should have no fear. the problem is because too many in the legal profession accept the spurious cases (as detailed by Judge Linnane here) causing question marks on many genuine cases and there are some judges that are easier to win over than others.
In many cases the judge who is hearing the case is only known the day before and when that is known many cases suddenly get withdrawn - I have witnessed that myself in Naas court and there's one judge spurious claimants do not want to get there.
 

mathepac

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For me, the issue here is who was supervising the child? If she was in the care and under the supervision of a responsible adult, then I fail to see why the retailer should be penalized for a lack of proper supervision. Kids do silly stuff because they don't know any better; perhaps they haven't had the life-experience or adequate upbringing to know how to behave responsibly around potentially harmful substances. ('Elf an' Safety in the 'Ome, Bruv, innit, eh?")

Maybe, just maybe retailers in these situations could train staff at tills to ask a customer who is obviously under-age and buying hot-drinks or hot food who they are with and insist that the adult-in-charge supervises the entire transaction. This is not a cynical attempt to absolve retailers from the consequences of injuries on their premises, but to help save other children from needless injury
 

WolfeTone

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I fail to see why the retailer should be penalized for a lack of proper supervision
The retailer wasn't penalized. The retailer settled the claim, effectively admitting liability.

Maybe, just maybe retailers in these situations could train staff at tills to ask a customer who is obviously under-age and buying hot-drinks or hot food who they are with and insist that the adult-in-charge supervises the entire transaction.
Maybe the staff are trained to do exactly that. Perhaps on this occasion, it was the staff member who hadn't been trained who served the customer. Perhaps, the restaurant was busy and understaffed, leading the staff to make mistakes in service? Who knows? Without full facts we cannot determine.
All we know is that the retailer settled the case in favour of the claimant for €85,000.
Everything about that suggests the retailer accepts liability.
 

mathepac

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The retailer wasn't penalized. The retailer settled the claim, effectively admitting liability.
I'd see €85 grand off the bottom line as a penalty and there is nothing to suggest they admitted liability; claims are settled all the time without any admission of liability, implicit or explicit.
Maybe the staff are trained to do exactly that. Perhaps on this occasion, it was the staff member who hadn't been trained who served the customer. Perhaps, the restaurant was busy and understaffed, leading the staff to make mistakes in service? Who knows? Without full facts we cannot determine.
Why introduce more red herrings then? Maybe and perhaps my aunt with different plumbing could be my uncle.
All we know is that the retailer settled the case in favour of the claimant for €85,000.
Everything about that suggests the retailer accepts liability.
Nothing I've seen suggests anything of the kind! See court reports and out of court settlement terms for confirmation, the key words are "without admission of liability".
 

Purple

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The law needs to be tightened to cut out fraudulent claims. It is leading to a perception that genuine claimants, even those who settle for €85,000, are somehow on the gravy train.
Do you think €85,000 for spilling tea on yourself, resulting in very minor cosmetic scarring, is a reasonable settlement?

There may well be other factors which drove Starbucks to agree the settlement but that’s a different matter. Given the precedent it sets and the impact such settlements have on small businesses are you happy that someone gets €85,000 for the injuries this person suffered?
 

WolfeTone

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I'd see €85 grand off the bottom line as a penalty
Yes of course, my point was that there was no penalty imposed by a third party, namely the court.
But yes of course, paying out €85K will no doubt feel like a penalty.

Why introduce more red herrings then?
To emphasize the futility of introducing them in the first place.

Nothing I've seen suggests anything of the kind! See court reports and out of court settlement terms for confirmation, the key words are "without admission of liability".
I stand corrected. Just as there is no official record of a penalty imposed, there is no official record of admission of liability.

That wont stop the perception of having being penalized anymore than it will stop the perception of being liable.
 

WolfeTone

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226
Do you think €85,000 for spilling tea on yourself, resulting in very minor cosmetic scarring, is a reasonable settlement?
No I don't think so, do you?


are you happy that someone gets €85,000 for the injuries this person suffered?
My happiness or otherwise is irrelevant. Its whether the parties involved were happy to settle for that amount. I can only assume they were happy to settle for that amount (as distinct from being happy to settle for that amount.
Do you think the parties were happy to settle for that amount?
 

WolfeTone

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226
Just to be clear, the retailer's insurer settled the claim, the retailer gets no say in such cases.

Just to be clear, from the article

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

There is no mention of the retailers insurer, where are you getting your information from?
 

Leo

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There is no mention of the retailers insurer, where are you getting your information from?
A company can only appoint their own defence where they don't have liability insurance in place. Once you take out such an insurance policy, you waive your right to fight any such claims. Starbucks have a clause mandating public liability insurance for all franchisees.
 

WolfeTone

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226
This is a discussion forum. We deal in irrelevant opinions.
I gave you my opinion already on the settlement with regard to it reasonableness, or otherwise.
It is my happiness, or otherwise, that I considered irrelevant.
 

WolfeTone

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226
A company can only appoint their own defence where they don't have liability insurance in place. Once you take out such an insurance policy, you waive your right to fight any such claims. Starbucks have a clause mandating public liability insurance for all franchisees.
I may be misreading this, but the article clearly refers to the company's legal defence, and mentions it was a case they fought all the way.
Going by what you are saying, then they must not have had the proper insurance in place? Otherwise how did they appoint a legal defence?
It appears to be contrary to the clauses of a Starbucks franchise, as per your comment.

Its just an assumption, but is it possible that this is a factor that may have had some bearing on the company's decision to settle for €85,000?
As I alluded to before, the €85,000 does not necessarily stem from the injuries that the child suffered. There may be other mitigating factors that may have prompted the company to settle for that amount.
 
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