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Leeds Wedding Venue Settles Food Poisoning Claims Following Illness Outbreak

A Couple And Their Guests Secure Justice As They Settle Their Claims For Their Illness

04.12.2018

A Leeds couple whose wedding celebrations at The Roast venue over four years ago were ruined when they and a number of guests were affected by illness problems have now secured settlement of their claims.

Antony Gavaghan, 59, and his wife were left devastated when they and 15 members of their wedding party developed illness symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting following their reception at the venue on November 1st 2014.

The problems proved so severe that some guests required hospital treatment, with a number of those affected testing positive for campylobacter. Antony and his wife’s symptoms began on November 3rd during their nine-hour flight to Cuba for their honeymoon. While the couple chose to continue with their honeymoon, they struggled to enjoy it.

Following the issues, groom Antony his bride and their affected guests instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Health team to investigate what they had faced, with the experts launching legal action against the venue’s owner TCSC Ltd in relation to the problems.

Now, after securing an admission of liability from the company, have settlement negotiations reached their conclusion with the couple receiving a five-figure settlement. 

Amandeep Dhillon, Partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s Public Health team, said: 

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“This case is just one of many we have seen where people have eaten food at an establishment 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 campylobacter 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 takeaway restaurants to wedding venues must always ensure that food hygiene and the safety of consumers is their key concern.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Looking back on the problems, Antony, who works as a joiner, said: “The day itself was fantastic but shortly afterwards we started to feel unwell. When we heard that others were ill we then knew there was clearly a serious issue that needed to be looked into.

“It is hard to take that our wedding celebrations ended in the manner that they did and now sadly our special day will only be remembered for the wrong reasons. We could barely even enjoy our honeymoon either as a result of the symptoms that we were going through.

“It is hard to believe just how much this illness has affected my wife and I, but following news of the settlement we are hoping to try and put all of this behind us.”

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 experts have worked with the firm’s Public Health team including David Horrocks.

David, a leading environmental health expert, 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.”

Read about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Public Health cases.