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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 11:42 GMT
1.2m for Chinese meal poisoning
Margaret-Ann Reynard - Picture Ciaran Donnelly
Margaret-Ann Reynard had gone out to celebrate her birthday
A woman who suffered salmonella poisoning after eating a meal at a Chinese restaurant has been awarded more than 1.2m in compensation.

The Court of Session heard how Margaret-Ann Reynard's career as a midwife was ruined when she developed debilitating reactive arthritis.

Mrs Reynard, 40, sued Exquisite Quisine after eating at the Latours restaurant in East Kilbride in October 2000.

Judge Lord Hodge said the former midwife was in "constant pain".

The judge awarded Mrs Reynard ,1,243,082 in damages, which included 627,730 for loss of earnings and pension rights up to her retirement and 397,304 for care costs.

Lord Hodge said she had suffered a "permanent progressive disease" which resulted in pain and a loss of manual dexterity and she now relied on strong drugs to control the effects.

Mrs Reynard had gone to the restaurant with her husband-to-be to celebrate her 35th birthday.

All of a sudden everything was taken away from me. I couldn't do anything. I felt very isolated
Margaret-Ann Reynard

She had hot and sour soup and shared dishes of Cantonese beef, sweet and sour chicken and chicken in green pepper and black bean sauce. Mrs Reynard had fried rice and her fiance had noodles.

The restaurant has since closed and Exquisite Quisine contested the amount claimed at the court in Edinburgh.

However, it admitted liability for causing the salmonella infection.

The judge said: "She remains in pain almost constantly and on bad days that pain confines her to bed. There is no realistic prospect of alleviation of her condition.

"I formed the impression...that she was a lady who wished to work. She had worked all her life, valued her independence and did not want to be a burden on others.

Hospital tests

"While her reactive arthritis had rendered her unfit for work, she would seek work in counselling if her physical condition improved. But there was no evidence that a substantial improvement was likely."

The court heard that Mrs Reynard, from East Kilbride, had to postpone her wedding for a year because of ill-health, but finally got married on 4 May, 2002.

She has daily visits from a carer and the court was told that one doctor involved in treatment was "horrified" by the inflammation she suffered.

Mrs Reynard said she was informed by a consultant after hospital tests that salmonella had triggered the arthritis.

She spoke of her shock at the revelation and said: "I felt I had lost all my independence. I had been active and enjoyed the full-time job I was in.

"All of a sudden everything was taken away from me. I couldn't do anything. I felt very isolated."

See how the illness affected the victim's life

Payout 'reflects the damage done'
09 Nov 05 |  Scotland
1m court claim over Chinese meal
15 Feb 05 |  Scotland

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