People of New Jersey, take note. If you order a plate full of delicious, sizzling fajitas, you’re assuming the risk that comes with it.
A Westampton man who sued Applebee’s over grease burns he allegedly suffered while bowing his head in prayer saw his suit dismissed by an Appellate Court Wednesday. In the suit, the plaintiff, Hiram Jimenez, alleged that he ordered fajitas that were placed in front of him in a sizzling skillet, and when he bowed his head close to the table, he heard a loud sizzling noise followed by a pop noise and then felt grease burning his face.
Sounds really unfortunate, but come on now. I’m not here to tell you how to pray, but…you don’t really need to lean that far forward to pray, right? A simple eyes closed, downward tilting of the head usually suffices.
A trial judge previously dismissed Jimenez’s suit holding that Applebee’s was not required to warn Jimenez against a danger that is “open and notorious.” This is classic first year torts. I don’t think I could’ve drawn up a better fact pattern if I tried. You have to know that sizzling fajitas from The ‘Bees are notoriously piping hot, though. On appeal, the two-judge panel agreed with the lower court.
It noted business owners are required to “discover and eliminate dangerous conditions, to maintain the premises in safe condition and to avoid creating conditions that would render the premises unsafe.”
But it said the risk posed by the hot platter was “self-evident.” Applebee’s, the ruling said, “had no duty to warn (Jimenez) that the food was sizzling hot and should be approached with due care.”
There you have it. If you order delicious, piping hot fajitas, let that skillet cool down before you go putting your face near the damn thing..
[via USA Today]
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