Nurse sues nightclub and claims suffered burns when dry shampoo turned into 'flame thrower'

A nurse has told the High Court how when she sprayed a dry shampoo in the toilet of a Dublin nightclub the aerosol turned in to a "flame thrower.”

Nurse sues nightclub and claims suffered burns when dry shampoo turned into 'flame thrower'

A nurse has told the High Court how when she sprayed a dry shampoo in the toilet of a Dublin nightclub the aerosol turned in to a "flame thrower.”

The flames she said hit her hair and she had to throw the aerosol down the toilet where flames continued to emit from the can.

Sam Clarke Kavanagh has sued the Bronze bar and night club after she suffered burns to her right hand , face and singed her hair, eye lashes and eyebrows.

The aerosol of dry shampoo she says was one of a number of toiletries in a box and she has claimed a naked flame candle was in the area and the aerosol spray ignited.

The owners at the time of the Bronze bar and nightclub, Lower Baggot Street Dublin have claimed the aerosol dry shampoo was not supplied by them and could have been left there by another patron.

The bar and nightclub has changed ownership since the 2015 incident ,the High Court heard.

Opening the case, Ms Clarke Kavanagh’s counsel Michael Byrne SC said it was a very terrifying incident and there was a naked candle beside the sink.

"The aerosol turned in to a flame thrower and flame continued to shoot out two feet," counsel said.

He said a selfie taken before the incident showed Ms Clarke Kavanagh has a small handbag with her which was not big enough to hold a lipstick never mind an aerosol spray.

He said the nurse was out of work for seven weeks after the accident.

In evidence she said she had gone to the nightclub to attend her friend' birthday celebration. She said she went with another friend and when they got there at around 11pm, they ordered drinks and then went to the toilet.

Asked by her counsel if she had brought the aerosol of dry shampoo in to the nightclub , the witness said she does not carry dry shampoo with her. She said she made a beeline for the products and sprayed the dry shampoo.

“It very quickly became a flame thrower. I stupidly tried to blow it out and it hit my hair. The flame continued to come out. I threw it down the toilet and the flames were still going on".

She said the fire alarm then went off.

Cross examined by Colm Condon SC for the nightcub owners she said she did not believe it was a case where another patron left the dry shampoo behind.

He asked why she went in to the toilets with her friend if she was not going to use the facilities herself.

Ms Clarke Kavanagh replied: ‘Girls go in packs of two.'

Sam Clarke Kavanagh (27), Sandymount Road, Sandymount, Dublin has sued Hilda and Jon Conway, Claremont Road, Sandymount, Dublin the owners at the time of the Bronze bar and nightclub, Lower Baggot Street Dublin over the incident on December 4,2015.

She has claimed that the bathroom facilities at the nightclub were allegedly rendered hazardous and unsafe because of the presence of naked flame candles and highly flammable aerosol cosmetic products in close proximity.

Injuries sustained to the right hand of Sam Clarke Kavanagh of Sandymount Road, Sandymount, Dublin. Pic: Collins Courts
Injuries sustained to the right hand of Sam Clarke Kavanagh of Sandymount Road, Sandymount, Dublin. Pic: Collins Courts

It is further claimed there was an alleged failure to supply non flammable aerosol cosmetic products and use electronic candles rather than naked flame candles.

The claims are denied and it is contended by the nightclub side it did not supply the aerosol spray.

It is alleged there was contributory negligence on the part of the nurse because she used the aerosol spray near a candle and she was the author of her own misfortune.

The case before Mr Justice David Keane continues tomorrow.

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