THE family of a teenager who suffered a fatal reaction after eating a burger at a restaurant say they have not been awarded compensation for their suffering.

Owen Carey from Crowborough collapsed and died after eating grilled chicken coated in buttermilk at a Byron restaurant at the O2 Arena in Greenwich in April 2017.

The teenager, who had been out celebrating his 18th birthday, had told staff he was allergic to dairy but was not told buttermilk was included in the dish.

An inquest in 2019 heard that Owen had been misled into thinking there were no allergens in his meal.

Owen's family said they received a letter from Byron's chief executive with an apology, but have not been awarded damages or specific compensation.

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 2, Owen's father Paul said: "Byron's insurers refused to pay any damages and only offered to pay a proportion of the legal and funeral costs.

"We weren't looking to profit from Owen's death - we would have donated the money to the charity the Anaphylaxis Campaign which supports people at risk from serious allergies.

"You can't quantify in monetary terms how much we miss Owen.

"But we're not doing this for money, we just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else."

The Argus: Owen Carey's family outside court at the inquest into his death in 2019. Photo: PA MediaOwen Carey's family outside court at the inquest into his death in 2019. Photo: PA Media

Owen's father described Byron's decision not to award damages was "pathetic".

The burger chain told the BBC it has improved its allergen procedures since Owen's death.

Chief executive Simon Wilkinson said: "Even though this happened two years before I was employed by Byron, I have personally taken the responsibility to improve all allergen procedures... I am very supportive of any improvements or changes that can be made across the industry to prevent further tragic accidental deaths from occurring and will work with the family accordingly."

The Carey family have launched a campaign to change the law on allergen labelling on restaurant menus.

"Owen's Law" would see new requirements for specific allergen labelling on every menu.

However, Paul Carey said they have not yet received a response from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

He added: "The buttermilk marinade wasn't stated on the menu and was not conveyed by the waiter.

"Some customers, young customers, might even be afraid to ask about allergens.

"If you write in words or symbols on the menu what the allergens are for each dish, nobody has to ask."

After her son's inquest in 2019, Owen's mother Moira said "hundreds of thousands" of allergy sufferers were scared to eat out in restaurants because of the risks.