Student suffered devastating injuries when he sat on bucket of hot oil, High Court told

Umesh Maharjan. Picture: Collins

A student working in a takeaway suffered devastating burn injuries when he sat on a bucket containing freshly discarded hot cooking oil and the oil splashed on his back and arm, the High Court has heard.

Fine Arts student Umesh Maharjan, his counsel Declan Doyle SC told the court, was in excruciating, unbearable pain and has been left with "grossly disfiguring" scars.

Mr Maharjan who is originally from Kathmandu in Nepal was working in the takeaway to finance his degree when the accident happened three years ago.

Mr Doyle SC told the court the student was taking a break at the back of the Rathnew Chinese Takeaway premises in Rathnew, Co Wicklow where plastic buckets were kept and where staff went for a break.

Somebody, counsel said had put hot cooking oil from a deep fat fryer in a bucket and when Mr Maharjan sat on it, the lid gave way and he collapsed back and the oil spilled over his back and left arm.

Counsel said the student suffered life-changing and devastating injuries and had very extensive burns. Colleagues, he said helped and put water and some ice on the affected areas and Mr Maharjan was taken to hospital.

Umesh Maharjan (29), Windmill House, Dock Road, Limerick had sued Rathnew Restaurant and Takeaway Ltd with offices at Rockville House, Rathnew, Co Wicklow, the operators of the takeaway restaruant, Rathnew Chinese Takeaway in Rathnew, Co Wicklow as a result of the accident on August 21, 2015.

He claimed there was a failure to take any or any adequate precautions so as to provide Mr Maharjan with a safe place of work and a safe system of work. He also claimed hot oil had been stored in a manner and in a container that was unfit for purpose and created an obvious hazard and trap for him.

Hot oil he claimed was stored in an area of the premises where Mr Maharjan was required to spend his refreshment break during the course of his working day.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told the issue of liability had been withdrawn in the case and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Counsel told the court when Mr Maharjan was brought to hospital he was in excruciating pain and he later had unbearable pain when dressings were changed. Counsel said the accident had a devastating effect on Mr Maharjan's life and he has been left with grossly disfiguring scars.

In evidence Mr Maharjan said he was scared and his back was really hot. "The pain was really hard for me. I feel bad I will have this for my entire life." he said.

When the case resumed before the court this afternoon, Mr Doyle SC said the case had been settled and could be struck out. Mr Justice Michael Hanna wished Mr Maharjan well in the future and the judge said he was a very impressive gentleman.

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