As you know, we here at Abnormal Use love writing and blogging, so much so that our editor Jim Dedman is now contributing posts to other online venues. Last week, his piece, “The Perils of Queso: Pennsylvania Federal Court Addresses Hot Cheese Claims,” was published by the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Products Liability Committee’s New & Developments site.
More than two decades after Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s in the infamous hot coffee case, hot food and beverage cases continue to be litigated in state and federal courts. However, as recently noted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the difference between hot food and hot beverages may dictate varying results on summary judgment. See Freeman v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., No. 12-2558, 2013 WL 4082235 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 12, 2013).
In that case, the plaintiff ordered a serving of hot beef queso dip, which the court described as “a hot appetizer which he knew was served hot.” The complaint—originally filed in state court before removal and available on PACER—described it as “an appetizer, which consisted of chips along with a dip . . . presented to plaintiff in a very hot and dangerous condition.” As he began to eat, the plaintiff allegedly burned his mouth and arm and sustained additional injuries when the purported trauma caused him to fall backwards. In the complaint, he claimed to suffer “serious and permanent orthopedic and neurological injuries.”
Judge Rufe was called upon to review the defendant restaurant’s motion to exclude the plaintiff’s purported food safety specialist and accompanying motion for summary judgment.
You knew we would have to reference the Liebeck case, right? For the full article, please see here.