CCTV shows diner pretending to choke on shard of glass, pub claims

Kildare pub called gardaí after incident which it says is ‘typical’

A publican in Newbridge escaped a possible insurance claim when CCTV footage revealed the customers claim to be fraudulent.

 

A Co Kildare pub has released CCTV footage which it says shows a customer placing shards of glass in her mouth and pretending to choke, claiming the glass was in her food.

The footage from security cameras in Judge Roy Beans, Edward Street, Newbridge was uploaded to the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) YouTube channel on Monday. It shows a woman taking something from underneath her top and placing it in her mouth. She can then be seen appearing to choke, with her fellow diners coming to her aid.

The Alliance for Insurance reform, which advocates for fairer insurance premiums for businesses, believe that the footage shows the extent of the threats to small businesses as they encounter rapidly rising insurance premiums and large compensation claims.

According to the owner of the restaurant, Vivian Carroll, the customer claimed the shards were found in her meal.

“She told a member of staff the glass was in her food, which was obviously not the case,” Ms Carroll said. “We checked the CCTV footage and told her the entire incident had been recorded. The gardaí were called, they took her details and she left. But if it wasn’t for security cameras I could possibly have faced a massive claim”.

Ms Carroll said that the video is “typical” behaviour that she and other publicans encounter on a regular basis.

Chief executive of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) Pádraig Cribbeen said the incident highlights the so-called “compo culture” becoming evident in the restaurant industry in Ireland.

He said this culture has emerged because “people think they can get away with making outrageous insurance claims, a belief supported and encouraged by some within the legal sector and facilitated by insurers settling dubious claims.”

“The public needs to understand that false and exaggerated claims force businesses to close and staff to lose their jobs.”

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said that rising insurance costs as a result of incidents such as this one are “pervasive” in the industry.

“This footage is a timely reminder of the type of personal injury incidents experienced by organisations all over Ireland and the crippling insurance costs they cause”

These rising costs, he said, “threaten the ability of small businesses, charities, voluntary groups, sports and arts organisations and festivals to function or survive”.