A nine-year-old boy has been awarded £4,000 compensation after he suffered burns to his hands and fingers when he placed them on a hotplate at a restaurant.
The boy had gone to the restaurant to have lunch with his family. When he was queuing at the food counter he wanted to see what was inside a bowl that was on top of a hotplate. He put his hands on the hotplate to help him look inside.
Partial thickness burns and blisters
His right hand had superficial burns to the palm and fingers, while his left hand had partial thickness burns to the palm and fingers. The partial thickness burns developed into blisters which put pressure on the boy’s hand. The blisters were hurting the boy and had to be burst in order to lessen the pain.
After his blisters had been dealt with he had to have his hands bandaged for a week. The bandages prevented him from holding cutlery so he had problems eating at meal times. He found it difficult to get dressed or to play with his toys for a month after the accident.
Scarring would last over two years
He also found it difficult at school for two weeks after the accident because his injury prevented him from being able to properly hold a pen. He was unable to sleep properly for a fortnight.
Experts said that it was unlikely that there would be any long term damage to the boy’s hands. It was expected that the injuries to his right hand would take 18 months to fully heal while the scarring on his left hand would fade within two and a half years.
Restaurant was negligent
He brought action against the restaurant saying that they were in breach of their statutory duty under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. They had failed to warn him that the plate was hot and had been negligent in failing to advise him that he should not touch the plate directly.
They had also failed to guard the hotplates or have a system in place which could have been followed to detect the fact that there were no warning signs or guards in front of the hotplates.
The restaurant admitted liability and agreed to an out of court settlement. The figure of £4,000 was reached to compensate for the boy’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity.