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Gas heater explosion in a pub leaves the client with facial burns

Case Overview
  • Our client was a young man who went to meet his mates at a pub in winter. They were in the outdoor area of the pub.
  • Our client suffered significant burns when a staff member tried to gas the heater in the outdoor area.
  • We were able to help our client secure compensation to deal with the psychological trauma following such a horrific event.

Our client is a young gentleman who enjoyed a weekly catch-up with a few mates at the pub. In about June 2020, our client had organised with a few friends to attend the local pub for dinner and drinks. After finishing dinner, our client and his mates proceeded to the outdoor area to continue drinking in a smoke area. As it was in the middle of winter, our client requested that the pub employees turn on the gas heater.

As the staff member began to ignite the gas in the heater, our client bent down to her level to advise her that he could smell gas leaking and began to point out whether the leak was coming from.

As he did so, the staff member pressed the ignition button causing the gas to ignite finally; however, this time into our client’s face and hands, causing him substantial burns. The pub’s outdoor area was immediately evacuated and called the fire brigade.

Our Approach

Our firm sent a letter of demand requesting several documents from the defendant, including, but not limited to, CCTV Footage of the incident. The defendant maintained its position throughout the matter that our client was at fault for having tampered with the gas heater. As our client was a local at the pub, he obtained supportive evidence from witnesses that assisted his claim. 

We were able to secure our client’s compensation through negotiations outside of Court, saving our client legal fees, disbursements, and the stress associated with litigation.

Although our client’s injuries had healed by that stage and did not cause him ongoing scaring, we could successfully resolve the matter and secure him enough funds to cover his psychological trauma following such a horrific event.


The Result

We helped our client receive the claim through negotiations outside of Court, saving our client legal fees, disbursements, and the stress associated with litigation.

Zac Mackic Solicitor

Zac Mackic

Senior Associate
The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of a public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings, and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.

There are time limits involved with public liability claims, so it’s important to make a claim as soon as possible to ensure you remain eligible. Usually, individuals have three years from the date of injury to file a claim but this may differ by state and it is often best to start the claims process as early as possible.

If you’re awarded compensation, the businesses insurer will cover the cost. There are a number of areas that compensation could cover, including physical and psychological injuries and losses.


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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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