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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 January, 2004, 15:57 GMT
Chef sues hotel over cut finger
Mr McCarthy cut his finger while trying to slice an avocado
A chef who cut his finger is suing a hotel for 25,000 compensation by claiming no-one warned him about the danger posed by an avocado.

Michael McCarthy, 21, sliced into his hand when the unripened avocado he was trying to cut slipped and he lost control of his kitchen knife.

He claims he had been shown how to cut the fruit, but had not been told the avocado might not be ripe.

Dalmunzie Hotel in Perthshire is defending the action.

Knife 'unsuitable'

Mr McCarthy, from Blairgowrie, said the accident killed his dream of becoming an RAF chef and forced him to pursue another career.

He has raised a claim at Perth Sheriff Court for 25,000 compensation against the Dalmunzie Hotel in Spittal of Glenshee, Perthshire.

The commis chef started work at the popular tourist hotel in 1999 and the accident happened in the hotel kitchen the following September.

The court action states that the restaurant was busy and he had already cut 12 avocados without problem before tackling the unlucky 13th.

Dalmunzie Hotel
The Dalmunzie Hotel is contesting his claim
The writ states: "He had not been given any instruction that this may happen. The knife went through the avocado and sliced his finger. The knife was 10 inches long."

Mr McCarthy sliced into his little finger and briefly fainted before being bandaged and required to finish his shift including cleaning the kitchen. He was later taken to hospital.

Now he claims the hotel was responsible for the injury because he had not been trained fully or warned that the accident could happen.

He also claims the knife he was given was not suitable for the task.

He was off work for over two months and needed surgery, he said, and also briefly had to give up his hobbies of skiing, cooking, motorcycling and mechanics.

The chef, who lost less than 1,000 in wages, claims he cannot pursue his hoped-for career as a chef in the RAF.

He now works as a call centre worker for Norwich Union.

Dalmunzie Hotel owner Alex Winton, 40, said: "It is very sad that he is doing this because we got on very well with him. He had been fine about it and wanted to come back to work.

"There is no-one in this hotel who has ever been allowed to cut soft fruit or avocado in that way," she said.

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