A tort action in Chicago presents a somewhat novel dispute over the proper way to eat a sandwich. Mackenzie Seiler went to Jimmy John’s restaurant for a Turkey Tom sandwich. He went into anaphylactic shock after he bite into the sandwich, which turned out to be tuna and filled with cheese and mayonnaise. A person with severe allergies, he had specifically told them to hold the cheese and mayo — let alone the tuna. However, the restaurant says it was his fault for failing to properly unwrap the sandwich before biting into it.
He is now seeking more than $50,000 from Jimmy John’s after going into shock.
Seiler’s attorney, Richard Egan, insists that his client ate the sandwich in a traditional way: by peeling back one end of the wrapped sandwich and eating it like “a burrito.”
Jimmy John’s says that his eating habits are contributory negligence and that he is responsible for his three days in the hospital. The restaurant insists that a reasonable person removes the sandwich from its wrapping, inspects it, and only then bites into it. (I also tend to weigh the sandwich on an atomic scale to confirm proper weigh and measure the sandwich to guarantee that it is properly proportioned . . . but that is just me).
Once again, I do not get why the restaurant wants to fight this one. How many jurors does the restaurant think actually unwrap a sandwich completely and do an inspection before chomping down? This fight occurred because the restaurant refused to pay his hospital costs.
I am particularly interested in the experts that will be called by either side in this dispute. The EU must have a rule on this. Of course, there may be some raw regionalism in the case with the restaurant accusing Seiler of eating “like a New Yorker.” I would suggest the sandwich truck guys and the guys at the Billy Goat Grill as obvious choices for experts on sandwich tactics and customs. Of course, as shown in the case of TJ Hooper, industry custom is not always controlling, so the court could articulate a new standard for sandwich consumption.
Kudos to Art Nicoletti