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Woman still suffers 'agonising pain' after nitrogen shot

Gaby Scanlon still suffers 'episodes of agonising pain' after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen

A woman is still suffering 'episodes of agonising pain' more than two-and-a-half years after she drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen, her lawyer said.

Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham, Lancashire, was celebrating a 'low-key' 18th birthday with friends at Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro in Lancaster in October 2012 when she drank the shot Nitro-Jagermeister.

Today, Oscar's Wine Bar pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment and failing to ensure there was a safe system in place to prevent customers being exposed to injury from the consumption of the drink.

Welcoming the plea, the law firm representing Miss Scanlon and her family said the incident had "completely changed" the life of their client and that the effects had been "severe".

Patricia Noone, from Slater and Gordon, said:

"Gaby was an ordinary teenager with a bright future in front of her, but what happened on 4th October 2012, on what was intended as a low-key celebration for her 18th birthday, completely changed her life."

"She now suffers episodes of agonising pain and has been hospitalised several times. She has to avoid certain foods and can no longer enjoy eating, finding it hard to judge when she is full. She can only eat little and often and sometimes has to get up and snack several times during the night."

"She is unable to work full-time due to her lack of energy and frequent illness, and understandably her condition and the knowledge that crippling pain could attack her at any time has left her anxious."

"Gaby is a brave and determined young woman but there is no doubt that the effect on her has been severe. She has had to watch all her friends go off to university while she struggles to get her life back on track."

"Her hope and ours is that this serves as a warning to all bars and restaurants who must take responsibility for what they are serving to members of the public."

"It's reasonable to assume that what you are given in a bar or a restaurant is safe and they are legally obliged to make sure that is the case."

– Patricia Noone, Slater and Gordon

Oscar's Wine Bar Limited will be sentenced on September 17.

Bar admits failings over nitrogen-laced cocktail

A wine bar has admitted health and safety failings which left an 18-year-old girl in hospital after she drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.

Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham in Lancashire, was celebrating her birthday with friends at Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro in Lancaster in October 2012 when she drank the shot Nitro-Jagermeister.

Miss Scanlon, now aged 20, said her stomach began to expand and she was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where a CT scan found a large perforation.

The student spent three weeks in hospital as doctors removed her stomach and connected her oesophagus directly to her small bowel.

Today, Oscar's Wine Bar Limited pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.

In its plea the company admitted it failed to ensure the shot cocktail was safe for customers to consume.

It also failed to ensure there was a safe system in place with adequate controls to prevent customers being exposed to injury from the consumption of such drinks, and it had not made any suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

A verdict of not guilty was recorded against bar employee Matthew Harding, of George Street, Lancaster, who denied failing in his duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others at work. His plea was accepted by the Crown. It had been alleged he presented the Nitro-Jagermeister at the customer's table when it was still producing cold nitrogen gases and was unsafe to drink.

Oscar's Wine Bar Limited will be sentenced on September 17.

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MP calls for liquid nitrogen cocktail ban

A Lancashire MP is calling for cocktails made with liquid nitrogen to be banned.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris made the call after hearing of Gaby Scanlon's story.

Gaby, 18, had to have her stomach removed after drinking one of the cocktails at a bar in Lancaster.

“Fistly, my thoughts are with Gaby and her parents at this truly horrific time. I am incredibly angry that such a drink has seriously injured one of my constituents, that is one constituent too many.

“I would like to see these drinks banned from sale so we do not see anyone else’s son or daughter injured or even killed.

“Additionally, I think it is right to praise the staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the emergency services who saved Gaby’s life.”

– David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale

Food Standards Agency puts out warning on liquid nitrogen cocktails

“Liquid nitrogen is a chemical used to chill and freeze food. It’s not toxic. The problem is the extreme cold temperature. It’s this that makes liquid nitrogen unsafe for people to drink and eat because the human body is not built to cope with such a cold internal temperature. The FSA is advising people to take care when drinking cocktails made with this substance.

“We will be making local enforcement officers aware of this practice and reminding businesses of their responsibility to make sure that any food or drink they are serving to the public is safe.”

– Food Standards Agency

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Licensing boss has tried the liquid nitrogen drink that nearly killed a teenager

The councillor in charge of licensing in Lancaster has admitted trying the liquid nitrogen cocktail that nearly killed 18-year-old Gaby Scanlon.

Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council's Licensing Committee, was at the same bar a few months ago and tried the Nitro Jagermeister drink.

"I heard about this story this morning and I was quite shocked because I have actually tried it myself. It was quite scary to think that it could have possibly happened to me.

"I thought it sounded interesting, that's probably one of the draws. You assume the drinks served in licensed premises will be safe.

"I didn't have an adverse reaction to it. Unfortunately Gaby has and my heart goes out to her and I hope that she gets better."

– Cllr Paul Aitchison, Chairman of Lancaster City Council's Licensing Act Committee

School friends 'shocked and upset' that 18-year-old Gaby Scanlan almost died drinking liquid nitrogen cocktail

Gaby is one of our most hardworking and mature students who had simply gone out to celebrate her birthday. Our whole school community is shocked and upset at what has happened.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaby, her family and her friends who are obviously upset and distressed. We are pleased to hear that she is making better than expected progress.

– Ripley St Thomas High School, Lancaster
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