Man Burned By Fajitas During Prayer Can’t Sue Applebee’s

A New Jersey man burned by fajitas during an Applebee’s prayer disaster won’t be allowed to sue for his injuries. KLAS-TV Las Vegas News reports that an appellate court ruled against the plaintiff after he sought an appeal against a lower court that had also sided against him and dismissed his case. The guy probably feels like he’s been burned not only once, but two more times after being denied the right to take legal action, but who’s really to blame for the snafu?

The man isn’t being identified in any news reports, but the details behind his attempted lawsuit are memorable enough without a name. The man had visited an Applebee’s restaurant back in 2010, where he ordered a steak fajita skillet meal (one of the chain’s popular signature dishes). When he bowed his head in prayer, things went terribly wrong.

The man claims he heard a sizzle and then a popping noise from a sizzling grease bubble in the fajita skillet. Immediately after the sound, he felt a burning sensation in his left eye and the left side of his face, suffering a grease burn from the sizzling fajita skillet that sat before him. Things only got worse from here, however, because he panicked from the injury he sustained while trying to pray. The panic caused him to knock the sizzling skillet into his own lap, which caused him further injury. The whole chain of events sounds like something out of a slapstick comedy routine, but it apparently happened, and he still wants to sue Applebee’s for it five years later.

The Huffington Post reports that the burns he suffered from the incident weren’t severe enough to cause scarring — a fact that may or may not have had anything to do with both courts’ decisions regarding the man’s right to sue. No reports have interviewed the New Jersey man over this case, so it’s not known as to whether or not he’s patronized the restaurant chain again since the 2010 incident.

This, of course, isn’t the first time a person has tried to sue a franchise over what appear to be preventable incidents. Back in the 1990s, a woman famously sued McDonald’s after she spilled a cup of hot coffee in her lap. Stella Liebeck, 79, spilled McDonald’s hot coffee in her pelvic region, which resulted in severe third-degree burns. Liebeck was hospitalized for eight days and required multiple skin grafting procedures. In the end, she was successful in her lawsuit against McDonald’s and was awarded $2.86 Million. Since the 1992 incident, lawsuits — both frivolous and legitimate — have become a mainstay in food services.

So, do you think the courts were fair in denying the unidentified New Jersey man’s right to sue Applebee’s? Or do you think that Applebee’s should stop serving those sizzling skillet fajita meals?

[Photo: ABC News/Not actual fajitas from incident]

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