Exclusive: £100K fine non-payment is '˜slap in the face' for cocktail victim

A legal expert has slammed the bar company which failed to pay a £100,000 fine given after a Heysham woman nearly died from drinking a cocktail.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 11:11 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 3:08 pm
Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro in Lancaster where Gaby Scanlon had a near lethal cocktail in 2012.

Oscar’s Wine Bar Limited was prosecuted last year after Gaby Scanlon drank a Nitro-jagermeister ‘liquid nitrogen’ cocktail at their bar in Lancaster in 2012 then had to have her stomach removed.

The company has since gone bust without paying the fine.

Patricia Noone, from law firm Slater and Gordon, which is representing the family in a civil claim, said: “Oscar’s Wine Bar admitted in court that it had failed in its duty of care towards Gaby and was fined a significant sum.

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Gaby Scanlon at Preston Crown Court, Preston, September 2015.

“That fine was recognition of the seriousness of the bar’s actions and the devastating consequences those actions had for her.

“Gaby has been through a horrendous ordeal, but the one crumb of comfort for her and her family was that those responsible had finally been brought to justice. She has suffered life-changing injuries.

“The fact this fine has not been paid is another slap in the face.”

Former director of Oscar’s Wine Bar Limited, Andrew Dunn, who is now director of Oscar’s of Lancaster Limited, has spoken out for the first time in four years since the incident happened.

Gaby Scanlon at Preston Crown Court, Preston, September 2015.

He said: “We have all the sympathy with Gaby and her family but the truth is the company doesn’t have the ability to pay that fine.

“That incident plays out in our minds every day. The company is just a piece of paper but we have to live with the fact that we took on that product and were fed the wrong information. It was absolutely awful what happened and we have nightmares about it.

“Our aim is not to hurt Gaby Scanlon or her family .

“The company was only set up for three or four months before the incident occurred and it never made any money it’s a case of when does it lose its viability? That was why I set the new company up to safeguard new jobs. We served that drink in good faith and it came out that we did it with no regard.

“We sold several thousand of these drinks in another business, we had five weeks working to see how something could be done safely.

“I can’t believe that liquid nitrogen is still available in the leisure industry, it should be licensed for specific uses.”

Gareth Rusling, partner at Begbies Traynor Sheffield, who are liquidators for Oscar’s Wine Bar Limited, said: “£123,120 fine and costs was imposed by the court in relation to the case of Gaby Scanlon. There will be not enough assets to pay unsecured creditors including the fine and costs.”