Hot oil left ‘dis­fig­ur­ing’ scars

Irish Examiner - - News - Ann O’Lough­lin

A stu­dent work­ing in a take­away suf­fered dev­as­tat­ing burn in­juries when he sat on a bucket con­tain­ing freshly dis­carded hot cook­ing oil and the oil splashed on his back and arm, the High Court has heard.

Fine Arts stu­dent Umesh Ma­har­jan, his coun­sel De­clan Doyle SC told the court, was in ex­cru­ci­at­ing un­bear­able pain and has been left with “grossly dis­fig­ur­ing” scars.

Mr Ma­har­jan, who is orig­i­nally from Kath­mandu in Nepal, was work­ing in the take­away to fi­nance his de­gree when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened three years ago.

Mr Doyle told the court the stu­dent was tak­ing a break at the back of the Rath­new Chi­nese Take­away in Rath­new, Co Wick­low, where plas­tic buck­ets were kept and where staff went for a break.

Mr Doyle said that some­body had put hot cook­ing oil from a deep fat fryer in a bucket and when Mr Ma­har­jan sat on it, the lid gave way and he col­lapsed back and the oil spilled over his back and left arm.

Coun­sel said the stu­dent suf­fered life-chang­ing and dev­as­tat­ing in­juries and had very ex­ten­sive burns. Col­leagues, he said, put wa­ter and some ice on the af­fected ar­eas and Mr Ma­har­jan was taken to hos­pi­tal.

Mr Ma­har­jan, aged 29, of Wind­mill House, Dock Rd, Lim­er­ick, had sued Rath­new Restau­rant and Take­away Ltd with of­fices at Rockville House, Rath­new, the op­er­a­tors of Rath­new Chi­nese Take­away, as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent on Au­gust 21, 2015.

He claimed there was a fail­ure to take any or any ad­e­quate pre­cau­tions so as to pro­vide Mr Ma­har­jan with a safe place of work and a safe sys­tem of work. He also claimed hot oil had been stored in a man­ner and in a con­tainer that was un­fit for pur­pose and cre­ated an ob­vi­ous haz­ard and trap for him.

Hot oil, he claimed, was stored in an area of the premises where Mr Ma­har­jan was re­quired to spend his re­fresh­ment break dur­ing the course of his work­ing day.

Mr Jus­tice Michael Hanna was told the is­sue of li­a­bil­ity had been with­drawn in the case and it was be­fore the court for as­sess­ment of dam­ages only.

Coun­sel told the court that when Mr Ma­har­jan was brought to hos­pi­tal he was in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain and he later had un­bear­able pain when his dress­ings were changed.

Coun­sel said the ac­ci­dent had a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on Mr Ma­har­jan’s life and he has been left with grossly dis­fig­ur­ing scars.

When the case re­sumed be­fore the court yesterday af­ter­noon Mr Doyle said the case had been set­tled and could be struck out.

Pic­ture: Collins Courts

Umesh Ma­har­jan leav­ing the Four Courts yesterday af­ter he set­tled his High Court ac­tion for dam­ages.

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