A New Jersey appellate court says a man cannot seek damages for burns he suffered while bowing his head in prayer over a sizzling steak fajita skillet at a Burlington County Applebee's.
The ruling made public Wednesday upheld a lower-court ruling that dismissed the suit.
The man, Hiram Jimenez, claimed a waitress didn't warn him the dish was hot, but the lower court found the hot food posed an "open and obvious" danger.
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The incident occurred in March 2010 at the Applebee's restaurant in Westampton.
Jimenez said he bowed his head close to the table, then heard a loud sizzling noise followed by a grease pop. He then felt a burning sensation in his left eye and on his face.
The man said he then panicked and knocked the food on his lap, causing more burns. But none of the burns left any scarring.
In their decision, the appellate judges said Jimenez described the skillet as "real hot" and smoking and therefore the potential danger was self-evident.