Farleys’ Personal Injury team was approached by Miss L after she suffered an allergic reaction to food served at a venue.


Miss L was attending a work’s Christmas party which included a three-course meal. Having suffered from food allergies for all of her life which requires the use of an EPI-pen, Miss L had made sure to inform the venue prior to the party that she had an environmental nut allergy, meaning she could not be served nuts in her meal and she may also be sensitive to nuts being served to guests around her.

Miss L was reassured that the venue would be a ‘nut-free venue’. Despite this, as they sat down for their meal at the party, it was found that the first two courses obviously contained nuts. Miss L sent these dishes back re-emphasising her severe allergy to nuts.

When the final dish, dessert, was served, a waitress clarified that it did not contain nuts. Miss L double-checked this with the waitress before taking a bite of the food. After taking a bite, Miss L felt her throat begin to tighten and her lips tingle. The waitress went back to the kitchen to check the contents of the dessert. When she returned, she removed the dish from the table and advised that it did, in fact, have nuts in it.

Miss L was then seen by an on-site medic before being taken to hospital by ambulance where it was confirmed she had suffered anaphylactic shock as a result of being exposed to a food she had an allergy to.

How Farleys Were Able to Help

Miss L instructed Farleys’ personal injury solicitor Holly Barnes to act on her behalf in a claim against the venue for damages including the pain and suffering of experiencing an anaphylactic shock due to the negligence of the venue’s employees.

Holly examined Miss L’s medical records in relation to her admission to hospital on the day of the incident and instructed a medical expert to assess the psychological impact her experience had on her. It was found that Miss L now suffers some apprehension to eating meals which were not prepared in her own household which can have a significant impact on her social life.

Holly entered into negotiations with the venue’s insurance company arguing that the venue had put Miss L in danger by failing to inform her of the presence of nuts in her meal. We successfully negotiated a settlement of £3,500, a significantly large amount in these types of cases.

Miss L commented,

“What originally seemed like a daunting process became very easy once I was guided by Holly. Every step of the way she was there to help me with any queries I had and always explained them in a detailed way. I was kept up to date and always treated with respect. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience with solicitors. Thank you Holly”

Holly Barnes added,

We are seeing more and more cases of negligence around food allergies. It is not fair that someone with an allergy to a certain food should feel they are at risk when eating out due to insufficient information from a venue’s employees or on the labelling of a product.

We were delighted to have recovered significant damages for Miss L and hope the case will serve as a reminder for businesses to take food allergies seriously.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To discuss your case with an expert in our personal injury team, please call 0845 287 0939, contact us by email or use the online chat below.