An ex-barman is suing the company behind Mimosa nightclub over a permanent hand injury caused by a glass which he claims shattered "explosively", and apparently ruined his chances of joining the Royal Marines.
In papers currently before the Royal Court, the 25-year-old former employee is seeking an unspecified sum in damages from Courtyard Holdings, which he accuses of poor safety provisions and negligence – something the company strongly denies in the ongoing case.
The events giving rise to the legal proceedings took place in September 2016, when the plaintiff was working behind the bar serving drinks at Mimosa.
Upon raising two tumblers towards overhead spirit dispensers, he claims at least one of the glasses “shattered explosively”, creating a deep wound in his left wrist.
He was subsequently given first aid at the bar before being taken to the hospital by Mimosa’s owner.
Pictured: The barman was taken to hospital by the bar's owner.
Five days later, the barman underwent surgery in Leeds, during which it emerged that his medial nerve was “almost completely severed”.
Although it was then repaired, the man claims he now has a permanent loss of sensation, grip strength and dexterity, and that he has “difficulty distinguishing hot and cold” with his left hand.
The Order of Justice states that he was also left with significant scarring, and “suffered and continues to suffer pain, discomfort and embarrassment”.
The former Mimosa employee alleges that the blame lies with the nightclub, stating that it should have taken more care to keep him safe from personal injury and mitigate any risks posed by his bar duties.
He further accuses the company of negligence, claiming there was no system to inspect glassware for damage or defects; no routine segregation of hot, newly-washed glasses and cold ones; and a lack of adequate lighting at the bar.
He is seeking compensation for the injury, but is also applying for “special damages” due to the injury’s alleged impact on his job prospects.
Pictured: The case is currently before the Royal Court.
Not only is it claimed that the plaintiff’s injuries have “permanently limited the scope of employment available to him and diminished his value as an employee on the open labour market”, but also prevented him from enlisting with the Royal Marines.
Courtyard Holdings, however, says the company denies “each and every allegation of fact” and claims the former employee must prove them – including how the wound was caused to his hand, and the extent of his resulting injury.
The company says it “provided and maintained a safe working environment that enabled the Plaintiff and all employees to safely discharge their duties” and took “all reasonable steps” to mitigate any risks.
It went on to claim that it had a detailed procedure for checking glasses for chips and defects and replacing them, adding that sometimes glasses that were simply tarnished, were replaced – a policy said to come “at significant cost” to the company.
Turning to the temperature of the glasses, the company claims that the glass would have been at room temperature at the time of its use, adding that the glassware in use had been selected on the basis “that it is durable and resistant to thermal changes, enabling their safe use regardless of temperature".
In any case, the defendant notes, “regardless of training, handling glassware of the nature used by bar staff is no more than a matter of common sense” before stating that the plaintiff’s alleged injury may, in fact, be his own fault because he “paid either no of insufficient attention to his duties, resulting in the negligent handling of glassware that caused breakage and injury”.
Pictured: The plaintiff is also asking for damages from loss of earnings due to his injury.
The company also says the “many years” that the barman worked there “without incident” in advance of his hand injury suggests it couldn’t have been caused as a result of “lack of knowledge, experience and/or training”.
The case continues.
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