It seems like only yesterday that I wrote about a woman who was trying to sue a restaurant for having her feelings hurt when she was dining alone on Valentine’s Day. It seems that in the United States of Lawyers, people will try anything to hit the Lawsuit Jackpot but this week a man got a big fat zero when he tried to sue Applebee’s for damages he suffered from a sizzling fajita plate.
A few years ago, Hiram Jimenez and his brother Rafael ordered some steak fajitas at an Applebee’s in Burlington County. After the waitress set down the steaming, smoking, sizzling plate of seared meats onto the table, Hiram decided to bow his head over the smoldering cast iron skillet that was billowing plumes of smoke, in order to give thanks for all the gifts that God had bestowed upon him. As he was praying, God decided to remind Jimenez that his face was mere inches away from a major heat source and He had some hot oil sizzle its way onto his eye and face. Of course Jimenez thought, “Get thee back, Satan!” and he knocked the fiery, scalding plate of food onto his lap, burning him some more.
Jimenez decided to sue Applebee’s because the waitress did not warn him that the fajitas were hot. Well, a state appeals court ruled that he could not collect damages and dismissed the case claiming that the danger from the plate was “open and obvious” and that it was his own fault for putting his face so close to the food. “Here, the danger posed by a plate of sizzling hot food was self-evident,” the two-judge panel ruled.
I reached out to the state appeals panel of New Jersey (no, I didn’t) to see if they would be willing to comment on the situation and they happily responded with this totally real and not made up at all statement which should be read out loud in your best Jersey accent:
“Dis guy was a complete idiot, ya know? Who the fuck looks at a scorching plate of fajitas that is hotter than a thousand suns and decides to bow his head over it to pray? We hope he was praying to grow a few more brain cells because he’s a stupid fuck. Even though we cannot be sure that the waitress told this asshole that the plate was hot, we kind of assume that people will get it if the waitress is carrying the plate with a pot holder and it has more steam shooting off of it than Old Faithful on a cold winter morning. I mean c’mon, it’s called ‘sizzling fajitas,’ you know? We ain’t got no problem with him praying, we just take issue with him trying to blame the restaurant for bringing him hot food. This is the same trash bag that probably would have sent his fajitas back if they weren’t hot enough. We commend Applebee’s for bringing out the food exactly as it was described: sizzling. If a little bit of burning oil made its way onto this dickwad’s face, so be it. Maybe next time he’ll really think about how close he wants to put his ugly mug to white-hot meat. As for him knocking the plate onto his lap, that’s his own damn fault. And before he gets any ideas, Applebee’s ain’t gonna pay for his dry cleaning either, so get the fuck over it, dick.”
When reached for a comment, God released the following statement:
“Dear sweet member of my flock, while I appreciate that you were giving thanks unto me me, please use the brain I put into your head. Fajita skillets are hot, sweet child o’ mine; hotter than the depths of hell and that heat shall smite you upside your head. Use caution when praying, for you are dumb, but I still love you. Jesus, however, wants you to know he’s not so sure how he feels about you right now. He’s on the fence. Peace out. Love one another.”
And there you have it.
Thank you to everyone who sent me this story, including the wonder known as Marlene.