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Chef awarded €7k after getting electric shock from panini machine

The incident happened at a hotel in 2013.

A 30-YEAR-OLD CHEF who suffered an electric shock while using an allegedly dangerous and defective panini machine in a Dublin hotel has been awarded damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Keith Gunning, who sued Home Fare Services, trading as Kylemore Services, told the court that in March 2013 he was working at Jurys Inn Hotel on Custom House Quay when he was asked to make a panini.

Gunning said the green indicator light on the panini machine had not been working so he tried to remove the plug. On doing so he said he had received an electric shock which threw him to the ground.

Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Gunning lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to the Emergency Department of the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

For two months afterwards he suffered headaches and pain in his right arm, and needed to take time off work for several weeks.

Gunning, of Lissadell Avenue, Drimnagh, Dublin, sued his employer, Home Fare Services, of McKee Avenue, Finglas, Dublin, for negligence. The court heard that Home Fare Services provided catering for the hotel.


The chef claimed that the plug had been defective and the machine constituted a trap.

The court heard that Home Fare Services admitted liability but alleged Gunning had been guilty of contributory negligence. It claimed that he should have turned off the socket switch before trying to unplug the machine.

Judge Groarke said he was satisfied, after hearing the evidence of forensic engineer Karl Searson, that the plug had been defective although nothing, when the plug was in the socket, could have alerted Gunning to this fact.

The judge found Home Fare Services had an unsafe system of work as it had failed to identify and warn that the machine was defective and dangerous.

Judge Groarke said he did not find Gunning guilty of contributory negligence and he awarded him €7,000 damages along with District Court costs and a Certificate for Counsel.

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