David Caminal from Barcelona had flown to the UK to work on the production of a specialist commercial. Mr Caminal was a producer of commercials in Spain and worked on high profile campaigns for big named brands. He has worked with individuals such as Elle McPherson and Messi (footballer) in such campaigns and was regularly sought out for this work but leading worldwide brands.
On Saturday 19th July, David visited The New Conservatory Bar, in Central Leeds to have a beer with friends. David was offered a taster beer, as he was not familiar with the different brands. He was mistakenly served with a glass containing a highly corrosive substance, caustic soda.
It is understood that the systems at the bar were being cleaned and that this strong cleaning fluid had inadvertently been served with the beer.
David drank some of the beer and it was immediately clear that something dreadful had happened. An ambulance took him straight to Leeds General Infirmary and he was in the Intensive Care Unit for a number of days. There were serious concerns at this point that he may not survive.
David remained in Leeds hospital for 3 weeks under very close observation. His brother, girlfriend and sister all flew over to be with him, although the family speak very little English.
Route to the case
Jill Greenfield was recommended to the family by a UK insurer who had knowledge of Jill's work.
Key initial steps
Jill was, within the first 2 weeks, able to secure an interim payment, which enabled David to be flown by air ambulance back to Barcelona, to be with his young daughter and family. Jennifer Buchanan worked closely with Jill to organise this medical transport. Neither David nor his family could speak any English and David was clearly distraught to be away from his daughter. Getting him back to Barcelona once medically stabilised was therefore a key objective.
David has undergone various procedures since his return to Barcelona and has obviously suffered devastating internal injuries. He continues to need treatment and will undergo further oesophageal surgery in the future. At present he is having regular procedures.
A complex analysis of the Claimants loss of income/business has begun.
This case will have key implications for safety standards in Bars and we understand that new and clear guidance as to the use of Caustic Soda in such situations has now been put in place and reinforced. A Prosecution is ongoing.