A wine bar was warned about the dangers of liquid nitrogen before serving an 18-year-old girl a lethal cocktail containing the gas which burned away her stomach, a court heard.
Gaby Scanlon, now 20, started vomiting just seconds after downing a shot of Jagermeister laced with liquid nitrogen at her birthday celebrations.
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.”
Student Gaby had her stomach removed as a result of the incident at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Preston, Lancs., – with a surgeon saying it was necessary to save her life.
Mr Berlin told Preston Crown Court: “On October 4, 2012, Gaby Scanlon, who had just turned 18, went out for a birthday celebration with friends.
“At about 8.45pm they go to Oscar’s Wine Bar, where she orders a cool shot of nitro Jagermeister, which is warm liquor with liquid hydrogen.
“Four shots are poured and all four members of the party, including Gaby Scanlon, drink them before two more shots are poured.
“Immediately after consuming the second drink she is violently ill.
“She vomits clear liquid, pouring from her mouth and steam comes out her nose.”
“The liquid nitrogen hits her stomach and begins 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, Miss Scanlon, 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.”
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.”
At a previous hearing on June 12, Oscar’s Wine Bar Ltd pleaded guilty to one count of breaching Section 3(1a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Fining the company £100,000 and ordering it to pay a total of £40,000 in costs, Judge Pamela Badley, said: “Miss Scanlon was celebrating her 18th birthday on October 4, 2012.
“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.”
“As Miss Scanlon consumed them, she was taken violently ill and killed her tissue and perforated her stomach lining and needed emergency surgery to save her life.
“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. There was a fragrant disregard for the customers involved.
“The drink was designed to lure and excite customers. It was designed for fun, and to make profit.
“It is astonishing no risk assessment was taken out to the dangers of ingestion.”
At a previous hearing, a verdict of not guilty was accepted by Oscar’s Wine Bar employee Matthew Harding, who denied failing in his duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others at work.
Oscar’s Wine Bar director Andrew Dunn, of Old Earswick, York, pleaded not guilty to being part of a corporate employer which failed in its duty to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.
The court heard that the prosecution would offer no evidence against him if a payment towards court costs was made.