Careful, it’s hot


Photo from USA Today

When Hiram Jimenez knelt his head to pray, he wasn’t expected to get burned for it. However that’s exactly what happened when the sizzling plate of fajitas in front of him scalded his bowed face.

Jimenez took the next logical course of action. He sued the restaurant responsible, the chain restaurant Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, for negligence because the waiter failed to properly warn him that the fajitas were hot and therefore had the potential to burn him.

A trial judge threw out the case, simply stating that Jimenez could not sue Applebee’s for not warning him about the  “open and obvious danger” of a hot plate of food. Apparently, some of the time, common sense wins out in a court of law after all.

Jimenez appealed the decision, but the two-judge panel rejected the lawsuit again, saying that the restaurant has no duty to warn its patrons to approach hot food with care. In other words, if something is hot, it can burn you; you should know that from experience and act accordingly.

So next time a waiter fails to say “careful, it’s hot,” don’t get ready to “serve” them right back. It’s a lawsuit you won’t win. Better to be safe and just order the salad.


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