22 Jan 2013

RSA and cleaner fined after customers poisoned

5:16 pm on 22 January 2013

An Auckland RSA and one of its workers have been fined in court for poisoning two customers with a bottle of toilet cleaner.

The court was told that Julie Taipeti, a cleaner at the Avondale Returned and Services' Association, put fluid containing benzalkonium chloride into a Sprite Zero bottle because it was easier to use.

The bottle was then somehow put in a fridge.

In February last year, the bottle was served to a woman and her friend who had ordered a lemonade. Both were were taken to hospital for treatment.

Paul White, the lawyer for the RSA and Ms Taipeti, says his clients truly regret what happened and never intended to poison anyone.

At the Waitakere District Court on Tuesday, Ms Taipeti was ordered to pay $300 in reparation to each victim, while the RSA was ordered to pay each $1500.