Court Rules That New Jersey Man Cannot Sue Applebee’s For Being Burned By Plate of Fajitas

275px-Flickr_elisart_324248450--Beef_and_chicken_fajitass-APPLEBEES-largeIt is unlikely that despite the company’s slogan, Applebee’s will be seeing Hiram Jimenez tomorrow. An appellate court in New Jersey ruled that Jimenez cannot sue after he was burned by a sizzling plate of fajitas.

The court ruled that the risk of hot food is an “open and obvious” danger. Jimenez no doubt argued that he understood that the plate was hot but that he was burned by a splattering dish. He said that he heard a popping noise and was burned. He said that the restaurant failed to warn him that he could be burned by simply being in close proximity with the dish. However, the court said that there is no duty to warn of things that are open and obvious. The panel distinguished such dangers with hidden dangers that may make the premises unsafe and must be made safe by the owner.

One could quibble with the assumption that a splattering (as opposed to a hot) dish is “self-evident” since it is likely to become evident when a customer is splattered. Yet, most people (and likely jurors) would probably come to the same conclusion.

Kudos: Professor Professor Roger E. Schechter

59 thoughts on “Court Rules That New Jersey Man Cannot Sue Applebee’s For Being Burned By Plate of Fajitas”

  1. Premise liability claims are getting more and more difficult because of the “open and obvious” defense and the elements you must prove to win your case. If the danger is something you did see or is so open that you should see it, you may lose your case. This Applebee’s case is a prime example.

  2. “Feminism gets blamed for the inadequacy of misogynistic men.”

    worth a repeat.

  3. Paul, There’s a Food City near me in San Diego. That’s where I go when I’m looking for something non mainstream.

  4. Splattering should be evident in sizzling fajitas. They make a sizzling noise, and are steaming.

    There’s no way you could convince a reasonable person that there is not a danger of splattering.

  5. DBQ, Rick Bayless has a couple great authentic Mexican restaurants in Chicago. I love his show on PBS. He’s a little too affected for my taste. But, I block out the affectations and focus on the food. I have cooked some recipes. The problem is finding the ingredients. It is much easier in San Diego than in Wisconsin. Well, duh!

    1. Nick – we have Food City, a chain of grocery stores that goes after the Mexican market. If you need anything Mexican or needed in Mexican recipes, they have it.

  6. Paul, Vince Gilligan has not missed a beat w/ Better Call Saul. There was a scene in this weeks episode w/ the crooked cop, Mike, baring his soul to his son’s widow. It was one of the best scenes I have ever seen on TV. I see an Emmy nomination for Saul and Mike. And, Jessie Pinkman has not even yet appeared in Better Call Saul. I am so pleased Gilligan has kept the quality up in this spinoff.

  7. According to a most recent Harris Poll, Doctors are the most prestigious profession @ 88%. Attorneys came in way down the list @ 60%. They were ahead of union leaders and real estate salespeople. So, that’s something to hang your hat on.

    There is a great need for good attorneys. That’s because there are so many bad ones. I have attorneys who are friends, and who I would trust w/ my life. But, I have worked for and against thousands of them. Way too many ham n’ eggers crooked, and useless ones. They protect their own, just like cops. So, there will never be a house cleaning, something needed in both professions. It is time to thin the herd.

  8. Seriously? An hour and half video? Why don’t you summarize what point it is you think you are making. At least then we will have some idea of what you are trying to say. NO one is going to waste and hour and half watching a video. Life is too short.

  9. @ Mespo

    You also know you are in a true taqueria when you can order tacos lengua. Or a mole sauce made with bitter chocolate and pepitas and not something from a can.

  10. mespo,

    Just for you:

    As a Private Detective I always carry with me a piece of thin paper and a pencil.

    It always come in handy if I have to trace somebody.

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