(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A hotel is being dragged through the courts by the heartbroken family of a man, who died unnecessarily as a result of food poisoning, after eating alleged rotten fish served in the hotel's restaurant.
On the night before his unexpected death, the victim was dining in the hotel restaurant with his bride-to-be. The man ordered a main course of geese liver for himself and a fish meal for his fiance, but upon trying the fish, the woman said it had a foul taste and said she couldn't eat it.
Not wanting to make a fuss, the victim exchanged plates with his fiance and they continued their soiree.
After the meal, the victim drove his bride-to-be to her family home and resumed his course home.
Hours later, the victim's mother became concerned when she saw her son sprawled on the couch, still wearing his clothes. When she asked him why he had not gone to bed, he told her that he was feeling nauseated and exhausted and upon inspection, she could see him sweating.
The mother then asked her other son to take the victim to the hospital. After being checked over by a doctor, he was diagnosed with intestinal colic and was prescribed the necessary medicine before being discharged from the hospital.
Even after taking the pills, the victim's health continued to deteriorate and he began experiencing unbearable pains throughout his body.
The man was moved once more to the same hospital he had been checked over at earlier, but just after midnight, he breathed his last.
The police investigation revealed that the man died of food poisoning caused by salmonella, with records stating that the fish meal the victim had, in place of his fiance, was rotten.
Consequently, the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution referred the hotel where the victim had eaten his last supper to the criminal court accusing it of causing the death of the victim.
The prosecution also indicted the food executive and the chef who had prepared the meal.
The victim's family demanded the severest punishment for the hotel, however the hotel denied any responsibility for the death, claiming that it had served the same meal to numerous hotel guests that night, and none of them showed signs of food poisoning following consumption.
In its defence, the hotel also stated that symptoms of food poisoning by salmonella do not appear right away, saying it takes hours to show indications.
In response, the victim's family testified that the victim started showing symptoms of poisoning once he had reached home, and that the testimony given by the victim's fiance assured that the fish taste was not normal.
Accordingly, the Misdemeanors Court found the hotel and its staff workers involved in the victim's death guilty, a ruling which was upheld by the appellate court.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court dismissed the lower courts' rulings and referred the case back to the Court of First Instance in order for the case to be heard anew. The top court said the hotel should share responsibility of the victim's death, alongside the hotel, because the former had failed to diagnose the victim's ailment properly, and had the victim received the proper medication and diagnosis, he may have survived.