Lawyers Secure Justice Regarding Problems Linked To Eastleigh Restaurant
The victims of a salmonella outbreak linked to the Real China restaurant in Eastleigh four years ago have revealed how they are finally looking to the future after legal experts helped them secure a six-figure settlement.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Health team represented 28 victims. The Claimants fell ill, after dining at the restaurant between July 11th and July 24th in 2014. As a result of their symptoms, many of the restaurant goers were forced to take time off work and seek medical treatment after developing symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting.
The problems were subsequently linked to a wider national outbreak of salmonella. This led to Public Health England investigating after experts tested samples and understood that it could have been linked to a single source of eggs.
Now, after Irwin Mitchell’s legal experts secured a £275,000 settlement from the restaurant’s insurers for the 28 affected, many of whom have revealed how they finally hope to put their ordeals behind them.
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s Public Health team, said:
Expert Opinion“This case is just one of many we have seen where people have eaten out and fallen ill through no fault of their own. Food poisoning can have a huge impact on the lives of victims, and severe foodborne infections such as salmonella can leave them needing specialist treatment and requiring time off work.
“Sadly, many of those we represent have also been left with lasting health problems from which they may never fully recover.
“Whilst we are delighted to have secured our clients justice, our primary hope is that lessons have now been learned from this and other outbreaks so that the problems are avoided in the future. Food businesses, from takeaways to restaurants must always ensure that food hygiene and the safety of consumers is their key concern.” Amandeep Dhillon - Partner
Among the clients that Irwin Mitchell represents is Sarah Wilkins, 47, from Hampshire, who ate at the Real China on July 16th 2014 and developed food poisoning symptoms thereafter.
The school teacher recalled: “The illness was absolutely horrendous and it had a huge impact on my life. The symptoms were so severe that I had no choice but to go to the GP. I was asked to provide a stool sample which proved positive for salmonella.
“I needed a full week off work as a result of my symptoms and now four years on I still suffer from symptoms including occasional bloating, discomfort and other issues which have been linked to my initial salmonella infection.
“It is hard to believe just how much this illness has affected me, but following news of the settlement I am hoping to try and put all of this behind me. I only hope that steps have been taken to ensure that an outbreak like this never affects anyone else going forward.”
The Public Health team at Irwin Mitchell have represented hundreds of people who have suffered illness in the UK, including the Toby Carvery outbreak in Exeter in 2015 where they acted for over 290 victims of norovirus, and they have successfully recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for individuals and groups of people who have suffered from food poisoning.
The firm’s Public Health team has represented victims of illness following outbreaks at the Newcastle Spice Festival and the Real China Restaurant in Southampton in 2014 with the combined damages across these two cases approaching £1 million. The team work to promote food, health and safety and work alongside NGOs such as the Royal Society in Public Health.
A number of renowned leading environmental health experts have worked with the firm’s Public Health team including David Horrocks. David said: “The importance of health and hygiene procedures cannot be over-stated. It is essential that establishments provide evidence that verifies that their operations are being conducted in accordance with established principles. All too often I have seen that operational standards of food hygiene are, in practice, far from satisfactory, are loosely managed and not in conformity with well-established principles.”