Starbucks Injury Compensation Award of €85k Award to Girl (16)

A 12-year-old girl who suffered serious burns after hot tea she was carrying under her elbow in a takeawat in a Starbucks spilled on her has settled a High Court action over the accident for €85,000.

Demi Mooney had gone to the coffee shop on Henry Street in Dublin with her grandmother on December 21, 2014, the High Court was told. Ms Mooney’s Legal Counsel, Michael Byrne SC, told the High Court that Demi, who is now 16-years-old, had purchased a cup of tea, a large cookie and a frappuccino. She was carrying the coffee in her left hand, the cookie in her right and the tea between her elbow and ribs when the tea spilled on her, Judge Garrett Simons was told.

Mr Byrne said: “The top of the tea cup shot off, and Demi suffered significant burns and scarring to her forearm.’ He said that liability for the accident had been fully contested in the case”.

In her action, brought on her behalf by her mother, Siobhan Mooney, it was was claimed that she should have been provided with a tray for the hot drinks, particularly as she was a child. However the defendant argues as to whether Demi had been offered a tray to carry the drinks on. Mr Byrne told the High Court: “‘They said she was, she said she was not. But the rule for Starbucks is that you should not give children hot drinks without a tray.”

Mr Byrne informed the Judge that a Starbuck Injury Compensation settlement offer of €85,000 had been made by the defendant. Hwent on to say that, if the case proceeded to a full hearing, there was a chance that a judge could find Demi between 20pc and 25pc responsible for the accident due to contributory negligence.

Judge Simons was informed that Demi was provided with medical assistance, directly after the accident, from a nurse and doctor who were on the premises on the time and they applied a spray to treat the burn. She wa taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she received medical treatments in the Plastics Clinic as well as for occupational therapy.

Demi, Mr Byrne, told the High Court had been left with very significant scarring on her right forearm, which was smooth but obvious, and would be permanent. He added that the plastic surgeon Demi decided not to do any more to minimise the scars, for fear of making them worse. Due to the injuries she suffered, Demi, now has to be careful what clothes she wears, being very careful to wear long sleeves when out in the sun.

Mr Byrne said the book of quantum gave a guide figure of between €75,000 and €90,000 in personal injury compensation for scarring. He added that, as the scars were not on her face, Mr Byrne believed the €85,000, plus legal costs, offered by the defendant, cafe owner Colfee Unlimited Company, was a satisfactory compensation figure.

Mr Justice Simons was satisfied to approve the offer as it would come very close to what a judge might decide the case was worth if successful at trial. The Starbucks Injury Compensation will  be paid into court until Demi turns 18-years-old.