A 15 year old girl from Keighley has received £1,400 in compensation after scalding her hand with tea at the Centre Parcs, Sherwood Forest holiday complex.

Charlotte Gott, who was 12 at the time of the accident, had only just arrived at Centre Parcs on 18 January 2002 when she went with her mum to the site's 'Jardin des Sports cafe. After ordering a herbal tea at the counter, Charlotte was handed her drink in a glass cup with a narrow handle. The heat from the glass was so extreme, it made her put it down too quickly, causing the tea to spill out and scald her hand.

Said Charlotte's mum, Mandy: "As well as causing severe pain, the incident ruined a weekend break that Charlotte had been looking forward to. She couldn't take part in any activities and had to have her arm in a sling. The most annoying thing was that at all the other cafes on site, staff put drinks on a tray before handing them to customers."

Union help

Charlotte's mum was so cross she contacted her trade union, the PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) when she returned home and they agreed to back Charlotte in her claim against Centre Parcs under a special scheme operated for family members. At first liability was denied and the case had to go to court before the holiday company admitted their mistake.

Said Charlotte's lawyer, Keely Goldup from Thompsons Solicitors in Leeds: "Centre Parcs even exhibited the wrong cup in court, but Mandy and Charlotte recognised the error and Centre Parcs had to agree that the cup Charlotte was given had been withdrawn at the time of the accident because of its unsuitability. Charlotte was fortunate in that her mum was able to pursue a claim under her Union scheme resulting in compensation for a great deal of pain and a ruined holiday weekend."