What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Café?

What Are My Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Cafe?

If you’ve had an allergic reaction at Hard Rock Cafe, this guide will explain the legal justifications behind when you could claim compensation for your suffering. It’s quite natural to spend some time reviewing the menu when you eat out. While you might be doing so because you’re not sure what meal whets your appetite, the time spent choosing could be for more serious reasons. It may be because you have a food allergy.

Luckily, food legislation means it should be easy to identify what allergens might be present in your meal. However, when that information is not readily available, or mistakes are made with food preparation, you could be made ill as a result.

Allergic reaction at Hard Rock CafeIf you are deciding whether to make a claim or not, we could help. We have a team of friendly specialists who can conduct a free consultation. They’ll review your case, provide free advice and let you know your options.

If the case appears to be suitable, we could connect you with a solicitor from our panel. Should they decide to represent you, their services will be funded by a No Win No Fee agreement.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Do you want to start your claim straight away? If so, why not get in touch on 020 3870 4868 to discuss your options. Alternatively, to learn more about Hard Rock Cafe allergy claims, please read on.

Services And Information

Everything You Need To Know About Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe has five branches across London alone. Their famous burgers offer a taste of America right here in the UK. Even though they are an international company, when selling food in the UK, they have the same responsibilities as other food businesses in relation to allergens. Even though the company will spend a lot of money on training and merchandising to meet its obligations, mistakes can happen.

Mistakes can result in months of suffering and even fatalities when it comes to allergen sufferers. The sorts of mistakes that could affect them include:

  • Insufficient allergen information being available at the point they place their order.
  • Where the wrong ingredients are used when preparing a meal.
  • If allergens are not removed when staff have agreed to prepare a bespoke order.
  • Cross-contamination of dishes.

If you are made ill following an allergic reaction at Hard Rock Cafe because of some form of negligence, you could be compensated if you can prove it was the fault of the restaurant. During the course of this article, we’ll look at the reasons allergic reactions happen, your rights concerning compensation claims and how much might be paid.

Importantly, the fact you suffer an allergic reaction wouldn’t automatically mean you’ll receive compensation. You would also need to demonstrate that a) the incident only occurred due to a breach in the duty of care owed by the restaurant, and; b) you were made ill as a result. Therefore we’ll look at the evidence you could supply to support a restaurant allergic reaction claim later on.

Please read some more of our guide to learn about why you could be eligible to claim. If at any point you have any questions, please feel free to call or connect to live chat to ask a member of our team.

What Is An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Cafe?

We briefly mentioned this in the past section. The main criteria that will need to be proven if you wish to claim against Hard Rock Cafe is that:

  • They owed you a duty of care (this will always be the case for restaurant customers), and;
  • That duty was breached, and;
  • As a result, you suffered an allergic reaction.

If you already believe you have evidence to prove these criteria are true in your case, why not get in touch today? Our specialists will carry out a no-obligation review of your case and explain if you could be eligible for compensation.

What Causes Food Allergies In Restaurants?

According to the NHS, food allergy reactions are caused by mistakes made by our body. They happen because the immune system incorrectly labels certain ingredients as being harmful. At that point, antibodies are produced to try and protect you. The most common antibody that’s released is histamine and this causes many of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

While nobody can be blamed for the fact you have a food allergy, they could be blamed for triggering a reaction. If a food business is negligent and doesn’t comply with the relevant laws, you could choose to sue them for your suffering.

Symptoms Of Allergic Reactions To Foods

The NHS website provides details of some common food allergy symptoms. They include:

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Tingling sensations or itching in the mouth.
  • A raised, itchy red rash called hives.
  • Diarrhoea and stomach pains.
  • Swelling of body parts including the face, mouth or throat.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Struggling to swallow.

Sometimes these symptoms will pass fairly quickly. However, in some cases, they can go on for weeks or even months. Whatever level of suffering you’ve suffered, if your allergic reaction resulted from some type of negligence, you could seek compensation.

The most severe type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. It should always be treated as a medical emergency as it can cause life-threatening or fatal injuries. These are the sorts of reactions you’ll often read about in the press.

Do You Have The Right To Be Warned Of An Allergen?

The ways in which allergens should be declared will vary depending on the type of food product. In restaurants, takeaways or cafes, allergens can be listed on the menu, a separate leaflet or by using a notice board. The notice board should explain where you will find the allergen information. Sometimes they will simply direct you toward asking serving staff.

When talking about prepacked foods, a list of ingredients should be included. Within this list, any allergens should be highlighted in bold, underlined or a different colour text should be used to make them stand out.

If there is a risk of contamination of an allergen during food preparation, it might be necessary to add a “may contain” label. For instance, if salads that don’t contain celery are prepared in areas where other meals do, a “may contain celery” label might be needed.

If you have evidence that you had an allergic reaction at Hard Rock Cafe because allergen rules were broken, please let us know. A specialist advisor will happily review your case for you. If there is enough evidence to suggest you’ve got a strong case, we could connect you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. If they accept your case, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Potential Allergens Should You Be Notified About?

Under UK law, The Food Standards Agency or FSA explains that food businesses have to:

  • Provide customers with information relating to allergens for prepacked and non-prepacked drinks and food.
  • Use processes that mean allergens are safely handled when preparing food.

Additionally, they state the 14 major allergens must be declared if they’re contained in a food product. They are cereals with gluten in them, sulphur dioxide and sulphites, mustard, eggs, milk, celery, crustaceans, tree nuts, peanuts, lupin, molluscs, soybeans, fish and sesame.

If you been served a food product where it wasn’t clear one of the allergens was included, you could sue for compensation if it resulted in an allergic reaction.

Calculate Compensation For An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Cafe

Let’s now review how much compensation could be paid for any suffering that results from an allergic reaction. This aspect of a claim is called general damages.

We have listed some amounts for relevant injuries in our compensation table below. They are from the Judicial College Guidelines as that is the document lawyers refer to when settling compensation cases.

Type of Injury Severity Settlement Bracket Details
Allergic Reaction Severe £36,060 to £49,270 Covers toxicosis that causes acute pain, fever and vomiting and requires hospitalisation for a couple of weeks.
Serious £8,950 to £18,020 Serious suffering similar to above but where symptoms reside and are resolved in 2 to 4-week period.
Significant £3,710 to £8,950 Covers bowel function problems and stomach cramps that usually continue for a few weeks. They might require hospitalisation for a few days, causes significant discomfort and full recovery could take a year or two.
Minor Up to £3,710 Symptoms last days or weeks such as cramps and diarrhoea.

To prove what level of injury you’ve sustained, you’ll need a medical assessment during your claim. This will be handled by an independent medical specialist. So that you don’t need to travel too far, the solicitors on our panel can usually book these locally.

During your assessment, the specialist will try to ascertain how you’ve suffered so far. They’ll also work out a prognosis for the future. This will be based on your examinations, answers you provide and your medical records.

Once they’ve concluded the assessment, the specialist will write a report that sets out their findings. This will be forwarded to your solicitor who’ll use it to prove the harm was caused by the reaction, and it also allows them to value your case too.

What Else Can You Include In Allergic Reaction Compensation Claims?

If you have suffered financially because of your injuries, you could also make a ‘special damages’ claim. What you’ll be eligible for will vary from case to case. However, you could claim back medical costs, care costs, travel expenses, lost income and the cost of modifying your home if you suffer disabling injuries.

The type of evidence you could supply to verify your losses include bank statements, receipts and wage slips. If you’d like to check what you could be entitled to claim, please get in touch. Our advisors offer a free case review and free legal advice whether you make a claim or not.

Laws On The Handling Of Allergens In Restaurants

At the time of writing, food safety laws are being reviewed because of the UK’s departure from the EU. That means that laws may change and the information in the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation may change too. However, most of what’s contained within the legislation are still relevant and may not change too much.

The key thing that this legislation changed from previous food laws is that the 14 allergens we discussed earlier must be declared on food products. As well as this law, others exist which could even lead to criminal prosecution of anybody found guilty of breaching them.

Importantly, you needn’t get too involved in what law applies if you work with a solicitor from our panel. If they agree to represent you during your claim, they’ll ensure that the correct legislation is referred to where necessary. If you want to find out if you could benefit from the experience of our panel of solicitors, please contact us today.

What Are Catering Establishments?

There are several different types of food businesses that legislation applies to with regards to declaring allergens, they are:

  • Catering establishment or mass caterers – this includes clubs, pubs, restaurants and schools.
  • Prepacked food businesses – this means businesses who have don’t usually sell directly to the consumer.
  • Prepacked for direct sale – where food is prepacked on the same premises as it will be sold.
  • Loose (non-prepacked) foods – such as cakes, delicatessen items, fish or bread.

For the sake of clarity, allergen rules will apply to companies that sell, cook, prepare, handle, stores or distribute food products. In October 2021, this will also apply to prepacked foods for direct sale following the introduction of Natasha’s Law.

Do I Have The Right To Claim Compensation?

Laws are in place to protect consumers from suffering an allergic reaction when purchasing food. Therefore, you may be able to sue for suffering caused by a reaction if it was caused by a deliberate or negligent act. These include:

  • You were told verbally that an allergen was not contained within a product when it was.
  • Ingredients (allergens) not shown in the ingredients list were used.
  • A lack of allergen information was available on food packaging or in retail premises.
  • Where food safety standards were not met and led to cross-contamination of your product.

If it can be proven that your reaction was caused as a direct result of any of the above, you could claim compensation.

Does The Consumer Rights Act 2015 Protect Diners?

When making a purchase, The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the product sold should be made with care and skill, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. That means that a refund might be requested if:

  • The product contained an allergen that wasn’t declared.
  • The provider agreed to remove an allergen from the item during preparation but failed to do so.

However, that won’t mean you’ll receive compensation for any suffering. For that to be the case, you’d need to make a personal injury claim if negligent preparation of your food caused you to suffer.

What Is The Time Limit For Claiming Compensation?

When making any type of compensation claim, you will need to claim within the relevant time limit. Generally, for adult cases, this will be 3-years from the date of your allergic reaction.

For children, a responsible adult such as their parent can claim at any time before their 18th birthday. If that hasn’t happened, when the child becomes an adult they can claim before their 21st birthday.

The litigation friend process can be used if you wish to represent your child or an adult who doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim. If your case is accepted by a lawyer on our panel, they’ll arrange this for you.

I Suffered An Allergic Reaction In Hard Rock Cafe, What Should I Do?

If you would like to claim for an allergic reaction at Hard Rock Cafe, the following steps could help:

  • Gather medical notes from your GP or the hospital that treated you.
  • Write a list of witnesses who heard you discuss your allergy with staff.
  • Check whether your receipt shows that you’d modified your order.
  • Print out any pictures you have that show that the menu or restaurant did not have adequate allergen information on display.

Claim For An Allergic Reaction In Hard Rock Cafe On A No Win No Fee Basis

So, if you are worried about claiming because you don’t want to lose any money paid in solicitor’s fees if the case is lost, we can help. That’s due to the fact that our panel of personal injury solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service if they agree to represent you. That allows you access to specialist legal support but, at the same time, your financial risks are lowered.

Before the solicitor will agree to take your case on, they will review whether it has a chance of success. If they agree to represent you, they’ll give you a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The terms of the contract will boil down to the fact that you don’t need to pay your solicitor if the case fails. Also, it will show you that no upfront solicitor’s fees need to be paid.

If the claim is won, a small success fee will be retained by your solicitor. This is a percentage of the compensation amount to cover your solicitor’s work. So you are aware of the percentage you’ll pay, the success fee is listed in the CFA when you sign up. Also, to stop you from being overcharged, the fee is capped by law.

Want to know if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis? Give us a call today and we’ll review your options for free.

Related Guides And Resources

Anaphylaxis Prevention – Information from the NHS on steps that could reduce the risk of serious allergic reactions.

Natasha Allergy Research Foundation – A charity that aims to support allergy sufferers by funding allergy research.

Restaurant Allergic Reactions – This guide provides an overview of why you could claim following an allergic reaction in a restaurant.

Fatal Injury Claims – Advice on how to proceed with a compensation claim if a loved one is fatally injured.

No Witness Claims – Information on how to claim if no witnesses saw an accident in which you were injured.

FAQs About Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Hard Rock Cafe.

In the final part of our guide, we have answered a few common questions about allergic reaction claims. If you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Can I sue a restaurant for an allergic reaction?

If a restaurant has caused you to suffer an allergic reaction, you could sue them for any suffering that’s caused. This could be the case if they did not declare an allergen, they used allergens that were not listed in the ingredients or if they agreed to remove an allergen but failed to do so.

How do restaurants deal with food allergies?

Restaurants can take a number of measures to reduce the risks to allergy sufferers. Some will list allergens that are in their food on menus, while others might supply separate leaflets. In some cases, staff may supply allergen information to customers when asked.

How much of a food allergen does it take to cause a reaction?

The amount of allergen that can trigger an allergic reaction varies. For some people with severe allergies, a speck of peanut dust could lead to anaphylactic shock. For other people, it may take a lot more of the ingredient before symptoms are seen.

Thanks for reading our guide on what to do if you suffer an allergic reaction at Hard Rock Cafe.

Guide by HB

Edited by BER