N.J. Court Decides Applebee’s is not Liable for Guest who Was Burned While Praying

A man’s attempt to sue an Applebee’s in New Jersey was thwarted after the court decided they were not liable for the customers injuries.

The incident occurred at a Westhampton, N.J. Applebee’s located on Burlington-Mount Holly Road, and has gained a lot of local attention after Hiram Jimenez leaned over his sizzling fajita plate in order to pray for his food. He was burned because of the hot dish.

Jimenez was dining that day with his brother, and leaned over his dish to say grace, when he said he could feel the steam from the dish rise, and before he knew it, he felt a burning sensation hit his face from grease that was boiling on the “sizzling” plate. It has been reported that Jimenez then knocked his plate into his lap causing other burns, which did not leave any type of scarring.

Although the incident occurred back in 2010, the courts have finally established that the chain restaurant was not responsible and that the potential dangers and risks from the plate were “open and obvious.” The two judges sitting on the panel for the case claim, “Here the danger posed by a plate of sizzling hot food was self evident,” even though Jimenez claimed that his waitress that day should have warned him of the potential hazards.

Should Applebee’s be liable for the events of that day? The menu item is described as sizzling, and it’s temperature and potential splatter can be seen when presented to the guest. That is why many are agreeing with the courts that Jimenez should not have leaned over the plate for an “extended” period of time.


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