Warning: This article contains graphic images.
A waitress who launched legal action against a Dundee Nando’s after her skin melted off and was permanently scarred by industrial cleaning fluid while on shift has been paid compensation.
Mairi Espie, 21, suffered in agony and required specialist treatment at A&E after being splashed with the substance while emptying a container of cleaning detergent.
The corrosive liquid burned through her jeans and melted the skin on her right thigh, leaving a permanent scar.
She said Nando’s did not provide protective gloves or an apron for carrying out the task at the restaurant in Nethergate, Dundee.
Ms Espie, who graduated from Abertay University in July 2022 with a degree in criminology, went to Ninewells Hospital where medics provided a specialist washing treatment to remove the detergent.
She was then bandaged and had to recover at home for more than a week.
Nando’s bosses have now paid out an undisclosed sum of damages following an out-of-court settlement after the case was brought to the national personal injury court.
Ms Epsie said: “It shouldn’t have needed to go as far as a legal action but at the same time I also shouldn’t have been burned in the first place.
“This was never about the money for me, just recognition, because at the time it felt like people didn’t believe it was that bad or anything was wrong.
“But to be fair to Nando’s I think they’ve now done the right thing – they settled the case pretty quickly, the staff have been supportive and the issues that led to me getting hurt seem to have been addressed now so hopefully it means others will be safe too.
“I’m glad things are over now and I can just focus on getting on with things.”
Simon Hammond, partner at law firm Digby Brown, added: “Mairi was only in contact with this industrial cleaner fluid for a short time so the extent of her burns shows you just how corrosive that substance is – and how much worse it could have been.
“We are happy to have helped Mairi get the recognition she wanted and we hope the successful end to her case sends an important reminder to employers everywhere to not be complacent on staff safety.”
Nando’s has been contacted for comment.