Are Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail Obviously Dangerous?

business_ethics_highlights_2How far does a business need to go in ensuring that new products and services are safe? The case below may seem like an easy one, but it raises an interesting question in this regard. Is it fair for a business to say “we had no particular reason to think it was dangerous?” Physicists know the dangers of liquid nitrogen. Apparently some bartenders do not. >>>

LINK: English woman loses stomach after drinking liquid nitrogen cocktail (by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours for the Toronto Star)

A bar in northern England has been fined over $200,000 after an 18-year-old patron was forced to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail that contained liquid nitrogen.

Oscar’s Wine Bar & Bistro in Lancaster was fined £100,000 (about $204,000 Cdn.) after Gaby Scanlon had a “Nitro-Jagermeister” shot while celebrating her 18th birthday there in 2012.

“Smoke was coming from my nose and mouth. Straight away I knew something was not right. My stomach expanded….”

What do you think?

(Also, consider the flip-side: how far do businesses have to go to ensure that a product works as advertised? In this regard, consider all sorts of ‘alternative’ health products, for which producers generally rely on tradition and anecdotes as evidence, rather than science. Sort of like the bartender above.)


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