Farleys’ personal injury team were approached by the parent of a three-year-old child about the possibility of making a claim for compensation after the child suffered burns injuries in a café.


The parent and child were in the café of a council-owned soft play centre. The parent had purchased a hot chocolate for the child. The hot chocolate was so hot it burned the child’s lips when he went to take a sip and caused the child to drop the drink which then spilt, scalding his neck and chin.

The child was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with 1st degree burns to the mouth, lip, and chin and a 2nd degree burn to the chest. The wound was dressed and he attended follow up appointments with a GP.

The child had trouble sleeping and could not eat or drink properly for some time afterwards.

How Farleys were able to help

The child’s parent instructed Holly Barnes of Farleys’ personal injury team to act on the child’s behalf in making a claim against the council, who own the play centre and café.

The council strenuously denied liability, placing the responsibility for the accident on the parent. They argued that all staff were trained in making and serving hot drinks and that all hot drinks were served with lids. They also argued that no other similar incidents had taken place.

Our team at Farleys pulled together an extensive case which included expert opinion from a plastic surgeon and further advice from Counsel as this was an injury to a child.

We argued that the café’s risk assessments were vague, undated, and unsigned. We also argued that hot drinks should have been served on a tray and a warning of the temperature of the drink should have been made, none of which happened at the time of the accident.

Our team requested training records for staff on the hot drinks’ machines, and specifically for the member of staff who served the drink, as well as manuals for the machines themselves. We also requested accident records and at this point, the council finally admitted liability.

During an infant settlement hearing, we successfully recovered £4,750 for the child.

Holly Barnes commented,

We were pleased to have been able to recover this settlement for our client, a child who suffered a great deal as a result of the negligence experienced at the café. We are particularly pleased to see a positive result after the Defendant maintained a strong denial of liability for some time.

Contact a personal injury specialist

If you or your child has suffered an injury following an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To discuss your case with a specialist, please call 0845 287 0939, complete our online contact form, or talk to us through our online chat below.