Have you ever ordered a fajita from Applebee’s? Or literally any chain of family style, sitdown restaurants that are even kind of like Applebee’s? They all serve fajitas the exact same way. This little skillet of onion and pepper comes smoking and sizzling out of the kitchen and half the restaurant can hear it. There’s steak, or whatever meat, a little container of tortillas, and usually an assortment of condiments and then you make like 4 fajitas. No big deal.
Somehow, some way, Hiram Jimenez ordered fajitas back in 2010 from his local Applebee’s and claims the waitress did not tell him it was hot. This is significant because it’s like a lifeguard not telling you the pool is wet today.
As Hiram bent his head to pray, somehow convinced Applebee’s and God are related, he heard a pop and felt something sizzling on his eye. Scald! The nefarious fury of the fajita plate had set its sizzling sights on Hiram’s face! The burn caused him to panic and bat the plate away right into his own lap which caused further burns! Oh no! And as a result of this trauma, which actually didn’t leave any permanent marks, he sued Applebee’s for cursing him with this plate of sizzling, smoking food that no one informed him was hot.
Now, the idea of a frivolous and stupid lawsuit is nothing new, but this seems pretty extreme, don’t you think? The court thought so too and basically told Hiram “you can’t sue for asking for hot food, getting food that is obviously hot to anyone who can see, hear or smell, and then burning yourself when you jam your face into it.”
Hiram was not about to take this sitting down. How dare a court of law suggest that, just because food is obviously hot to anyone who isn’t a complete moron, that he should know it was hot and therefore not jam his big, moron face into it (we’re paraphrasing here, the court and Hiram may or may not have actually used the word moron but you can tell it was in the spirit of the exchange)? He appealed!
The appellate court uphold the first court’s decision noting that, in Hiram’s own words, the waitress placed the skillet in front of him and it was “real hot.” Even Hiram acknowledged it was hot. When you yourself can see it’s hot, what the hell point are you trying to argue from there?
Hiram’s filing accused Applebee’s of negligence. How were they negligent? For exposing Hiram to dangerous and hazardous conditions which, of course, means a plate of hot food. Because of their negligence he suffered serious and permanent personal injuries. Not burns, mind you, because he had no scars, but maybe it was psychological trauma.
So Hiram lost twice and presumably has to accept the fact now that he burned his own damn face and no one else is responsible for it. Let that be a lesson to all of us – sizzling hot food is hot and it is our own fault if we put our faces in it.