18-year-old has stomach removed after drinking liquid nitrogen shot
If it hadn’t been taken out she would have died
A student had her stomach burned away after drinking a Jägerbomb laced with the liquid nitrogen.
Gaby Scanlon, who was 18 at the time, started vomiting just seconds after downing the shot containing the chemical during her birthday celebrations.
The liquid nitrogen, which gives off a smoke effect, burned away her stomach, meaning it had to be removed.
A court was told that the bar had been warned about the risks of using the gas and was advised about the “10 second rule” – waiting 10 seconds after serving it before the drink was safe to consume.
But, prosecutor Barry Berlin, told the court: “They knew it was dangerous and didn’t properly police it.”
Gaby, the student in Newcastle, had her stomach removed as a result of the incident at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Preston with a surgeon saying it was necessary to save her life.
Prosecutor Barry Berlin told Preston Crown Court: “Immediately after consuming the second drink she was violently ill.
“She vomited clear liquid, pouring from her mouth and steam comes out her nose.
“The liquid nitrogen hit her stomach and began killing her internal tissue.
“Her stomach had to be removed and her bowel connected to her oesophagus.
“The surgeon who carried out the operation said if it had not been removed she would have died.
“She still suffers very seriously from stomach pains and bacteria gathering where the stomach should be causes residual problems.”
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Gaby Scanlon, now 20, said: “It immediately felt like I was expanding.
“I burped and then clear vomit started to come out.
“I tried to undo my skirt as my stomach had expanded because of the gas.”
Oscar’s Wine Bar – owned by Andrew Dunn – claims it discussed the dangers of using liquid nitrogen in drinks with Peter Wilkinson from Mansfield Cryogenics and devised a rule that would safely allow the nitrogen to turn from liquid back into gas.
But the prosecutor: “The company say they discussed it with him and devised the “10 second rule” – where you wait 10 seconds after serving it and then it is safe to consume.
“But as we now know, the nitrogen wasn’t safe before it had boiled off.
“The company stated they relied on Peter Wilkinson to supply them with the ’10 second rule’ – but he is not an expert in liquid nitrogen cocktails and cannot be relied on by the company to supply advice before consumption.”
Kevin McLoughlin, for Oscar’s Wine Bar, said: “It is said that a limited company cannot feel shame – while that may be true of large companies but is not the case here.
“On behalf of the company and the family I make an apology to Gaby Scanlon for they are truly sorry for what happened.
“There is no need to teach this company or the Dunn family a lesson.
“They have learned their lesson every day for the last three years.”
Fining the company £100,000 and ordering it to pay a total of £40,000 in costs, Judge Pamela Badley, said: “It was a fun occasion and Miss Scanlon and her friends were intrigued to see cocktails that appeared to be smoking and wanted to try these drinks.
“The ongoing effects have dramatically changed her life and that of her family.
“She still has excruciating pain. The pleasure if eating has now been taken away from her and she is reliant on her family for her needs.
“There is no doubt harm caused is at a very high level as it resulted in a life-changing and life-threatening injury to Miss Scanlon.
“The drink was designed to lure and excite customers. It was designed for fun, and to make profit.
Oscar’s Wine Bar director Andrew Dunn pleaded not guilty to being part of a corporate employer which failed in its duty to ensure the safety its customers.
The court heard that the prosecution would offer no evidence against him if a payment towards court costs was made.