Man Who Burnt His Face While Praying Over Applebee’s Fajitas Can’t Sue, Says Court

A New Jersey man who burnt his face while bowing over to pray over a sizzling fajita plate at Applebee’s will not be able to sue, an appellate court ruled on Wednesday.

Hiram Jimenez had ordered a plate of fajitas, and when the waitress brought it over to him, he immediately bowed his head down and started praying–at which point he was burned by the steam and sizzling grease. He says he heard “a loud sizzling noise, followed by ‘a pop noise’ and then felt a burning sensation in his left eye and on his face.”

Jimanez said the waitress never warned him that the plate was hot. What he thought all the sizzling was about is anyone’s guess. His lawsuit claimed that he suffered “serious and permanent [injuries] solely as a result of [Applebee’s] negligence when he came in contact with a dangerous and hazardous condition, specifically, ‘a plate of hot food’.”

The court, however, ruled that since the plate of fajitas presented an “open and obvious” danger, the waitress was not required to warn him.

As much as this case may recall–to some–the notorious McDonald’s “hot coffee” trial, there are some very significant differences here. For one, Liebeck had some serious third degree burns, which you do not want to Google image search unless you have an incredibly strong stomach–and there is literally no reason for coffee to be so hot that you are burned so badly that you need skin grafts if it spills on you. I say this as someone who spills coffee on herself with startling regularity.

It is, however, pretty obvious that if you stick your face into a sizzling pile of fajitas, that you will get steam burns. There is no conceivable way to make fajitas in a way that will make them safe for you to stick your face over them. Unless you wait until they’re cold, in which I’m not sure they technically even count as fajitas anymore. [Courier-Post]