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. The court ruled that the risk of hot food is an “open and obvious” danger

    It’s more than just
    HOT COFFEE

  2. DBQ:

    For once we agree. This gruel we get is neither Mexican nor very good. Unless, that is, you go to Toloache on NYC’s UES. Get the De lechon tacos.

  3. Paul:

    “mespo – they may hire you, but that does not mean they trust you.”

    ***********************

    You’re right Paul, I’m the only lawyer in Richmond so they are sort of stuck. We’re hoping to get some more soon so I have something to do.

    1. mespo – I understand that law school enrollments and graduates are down. Might have to wait to get help. 😉 Better call Saul.

  4. I hate to break it to you guys, but the food that you are eating in the United States that is called Mexican food is really not authentic in most regards. South West. Tex-Mex and other hybrids. That doesn’t make it bad though. Some is quite tasty. Some is horrific. In Oregon they have no idea what a chilie relleno is supposed to be. Gaaaack!

    Having lived in Mexico, I can attest that Mexican food is as varied as the different cuisines throughout the United States. From the coastal cuisines of the Pacific, to the tropical Caribbean. From the high desert foods to the lowland Mayan influenced.

    Mexican food is not just tamales, tacos and fajitas. All of which I really like, but the depth of tastes and styles is huge. You are really missing out if you just go to a chain restaurant or one that is catering to the American taste buds.

  5. Pogo:

    “Quite correct.
    It’s a narcissistic defense mechanism against psychic injury.”
    ********************

    Good diagnosis, doc. Do you take Obama-care?

  6. “Docs are generally respected and admired in our culture. Attorneys, well, how many attorney jokes would you like to hear?The docs often distrust their own attorneys, and sometimes w/ good cause.”

    **************

    Funny, every doc I know calls a lawyer when they get in trouble [or just for advice] and puts their professional and even sometimes their personal lives in their hands. I’m representing three of them or their close family members right now. They need to hire nick to set ’em straight. I’ll call them.

    1. mespo – they may hire you, but that does not mean they trust you. 😉

  7. BFM, Great clip on the Taco Bell chain war victory. That was actually a good spoof flick. The first time I saw Sandra Bullock. Denis Leary was also good.

  8. I have a fact checker stalking me, Pogo. I “did” work in Chicago. I “do’ work in Wisconsin.

  9. Pogo, I do a lotta med malpractice work defending docs and hospitals in Chicago and Wisconsin.. The doctor attorney conflict was always an amusing side show to watch. To varying degrees, attorneys dislike to despise docs. It is jealousy for the most part. Docs are generally respected and admired in our culture. Attorneys, well, how many attorney jokes would you like to hear? The docs often distrust their own attorneys, and sometimes w/ good cause. Attorneys are thick as thieves and love the unwritten quid pro quo.

  10. “That’s the rant I usually hear from the surgeon who…

    Quite correct.
    It’s a narcissistic defense mechanism against psychic injury.

    Feminism in toto is a narcissistic defense made by damaged women.

  11. Pogo:

    ““Why are people trying to legally claim in court that they have no common sense or responsibility?”

    It’s how 2-year-olds think.
    I have no control over my own actions.
    it’s always someone else’s fault.
    If I have suffered an injury, someone must pay.

    Think: Feminism applied broadly.”

    *******************

    That’s the rant I usually hear from the surgeon who left the surgical instrument in the patient and ignored the count even as the patient festers. Why should the person making millions be held to account for the harm suffered by the working stiff.

    It’s downright un-capitalistic? It’s personal responsibility only for the victim not the perpetrator!!

    The feminism slant is a different angle though, so I give our resident right-wing sawbone some points for creativity if not logical sequence.

  12. Pogo is on fire this morning. I always love to see when people are @ their best. Pogo is a morning person.

  13. Darren, You forgot to mention the BIG, “OOPAH!” from the waiter as he lights the saganaki. Chicago has a great Greek town, and you get the fire show there last I checked a couple years ago. They banned foie gras in Chicago, but not “OOPAH!”

  14. “Why are people trying to legally claim in court that they have no common sense or responsibility?

    It’s how 2-year-olds think.
    I have no control over my own actions.
    it’s always someone else’s fault.
    If I have suffered an injury, someone must pay.

    Think: Feminism applied broadly.

  15. How badly burned could he have been from a sizzling cast iron fajita dish in close proximity? At most, it should have been a little pop of oil. And it sounds like he must have been leaning right over it. He apparently must never cook at home, because I wouldn’t lean over a sizzling pot on the stove.

    It’s impossible not to know the plate is hot. Fajitas are often served with a flourish in the cast iron skillet in which they’re coked, and they’re still sizzling when they arrive. That’s the point, for them to be piping hot. Then you let it sit for a while before you eat it.

    Why are people trying to legally claim in court that they have no common sense or responsibility? That is why there are now warning signs on everything – riding bikes at night without a light can lead to a crash, using a ladder can lead to a fall, etc. All those ridiculous labels come from lawsuits.

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