January 22, 2016
A jury at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has awarded a 44 year-old mother of two £263,534 compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome.
Tracey Rae visited the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society´s Restaurant in 2009 with her husband and four friends for what was described at the time as a “nice meal”. However, the following morning, Tracey awoke suffering from nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
The symptoms of food poisoning deteriorated and Tracey was seen by a doctor after she started passing blood. The doctor diagnosed Tracey with a campylobacter infection that was attributed to eating undercooked chicken livers served in a salad at the restaurant.
Tracey´s symptoms continued, and six months later she was diagnosed with post-infection irritable bowel syndrome. Tracey was told that the IBS would remain with her for the rest of her life and that she would have to adopt to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
Unable to return to work because of continuing stomach and bowel pain, Tracey sought legal advice and claimed compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome against James Freeman – trading as Saffron Private Catering – who was in charge of the food preparation at the time.
Freeman admitted liability for Tracey´s injury, but his insurance company failed to agree to an appropriate settlement of compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome. Consequently, Tracey´s claim for compensation proceeded to the Court of Session for the assessment of damages.
During seven days of evidence, the jury heard that there was no treatment for Tracey´s condition and that all she could do was eat carefully to try and minimise the symptoms. The court was also told that Tracey has to prepare one meal for herself and one for the rest of her family.
The jury awarded Tracey £263,534 compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome to account for her pain and suffering and loss of earnings. Included in the award was a special amount of £30,000 to account for the additional cost of following a restricted diet.