A fancy restaurant caused me food poisoning – am I entitled to compensation? Consumer rights attorney Dean Dunham responds

I got food poisoning when my wife and I went to have my birthday dinner at an expensive London restaurant. I was really sick later that night – and my wife wasn’t so much – and we think it was from a seafood platter we shared.

My wife paid by credit card. Can we get our money back? High voltage, by email.

The couple ate a seafood platter at a luxury location in central London, and one of them felt very ill

The couple ate a seafood platter at a luxury location in central London, and one of them felt very ill

Consumer rights attorney Dean Dunham responds: Yes, you can get your money back. You may also be able to claim some compensation, depending on the severity of the food poisoning and its effect on you.

The first step is to file a complaint directly with the restaurant, specifying all relevant details. Include the date you went to dinner, the name of your reservation, what you ordered, and what you think gave you food poisoning.

You should also tell the restaurant when you started feeling unwell, what the symptoms are and how long they last.

In your letter, explain that you identified the cause of food poisoning as a seafood dish and that this is a violation of the Consumer Rights Act, which states that services (such as food preparation) must be performed with reasonable care and skill.

This means that you are entitled to compensation, which here is a full refund. There is also a second law to help you here, called the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Simply put, this law requires a food retailer to sell a product that is free of harmful bacteria, that is, if you are able to prove that your food poisoning if the illness was caused by the restaurant, the law It states that he will be responsible for your illness.

Additionally, this law does not require proof that an employee (usually a chef) was negligent, but only that the food poisoning was caused by unsafe food served by the restaurant. This is called “strict liability,” and no trader wants to be on the end of a strict liability claim.

It is advisable to obtain a doctor's note detailing your symptoms to support your claim

It is advisable to obtain a doctor’s note detailing your symptoms to support your claim

If you want to claim compensation, as well as a refund, it is best to have evidence of how you have been affected, such as a letter from your GP surgery if you have attended a GP appointment. Also, if you are absent from work because of this, or if it causes you any other inconvenience, you must obtain proof of this. You will then seek compensation for your “pain and suffering” and any losses you suffer as a result.

Typically, restaurants take these claims seriously, especially if you say you will consult a personal injury attorney if a satisfactory offer is not made. In this regard, if the restaurant only offers you a refund initially, make sure you do not accept this as compensation, otherwise the restaurant may say that you have “settled” the case.

Unless you have a long-term illness, the compensation is unlikely to be large.

You should also alert your local Environmental Health Department, which will investigate whether the restaurant has violated the Food Safety Act of 1990.

I am the second owner of my new car

I bought a new car and when the log book arrived I discovered I was the second owner. The dealer told me it’s a brand new car, what can I do?

Note: Leatherhead, Surrey.

Consumer rights attorney Dean Dunham responds: It is as if the dealer had pre-registered the car in their own name, or the car had been previously sold and the buyer rejected it and returned it, perhaps under their entitlement to a “short-term right of rejection”, as there was something wrong with it.

Whatever the circumstances, as a potential buyer, you have a right to know all the facts and this “material” information should have been shared with you before agreeing to purchase the vehicle. One effect of having an additional owner for the car is that it may affect its future value.

Your next step is to file a written complaint with the dealer about a violation of the Consumer Rights Act, which states that goods (including cars) must be “as described.”

The solution here would be for the dealer to give you some money back to reflect the depreciation of the car (you can negotiate) or for them to repossess the car and give you a full refund.

The amount a dealership deducts from a vehicle’s price is usually tied to the miles driven by the consumer. So, if the previous owner had driven ten miles, you wouldn’t expect any money back. But if it’s hundreds of miles, you’d expect something in the region of £500. This needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If the agent rejects your claim and fails to tell you who the first owner is, complete and submit DVLA Form V888. This is the form used to request information about a vehicle and its registered holders, past and present.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) wants you to have a good reason for making the application, and will say that you are building a legal case against a car agency. Armed with this information, you can file a Section 75 claim if you paid in whole or in part with a credit card, stating that the agency is in breach of contract.

You can also make a claim under Section 75 if you have paid through a fixed-sum loan agreement, or you can make a claim to the County Court (in the small claims route, known as the Small Claims Court, if the car was purchased for less than £10,000), or Full District Court if the purchase price is greater than this.

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(tags for translation) Daily Mail

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