Nearly everyone knows of the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit. For those of you who have followed the Abnormal Use law blog for a while, you know that we have covered the topic in great depth (a/k/a ad nauseam). Well, now, there’s a new spin on this old classic. Hot tequila! That’s right: An Ohio man is suing a bar for allegedly serving him a shot of tequila that was mixed with extract from one of the spiciest peppers in the world.
Brady Bennett filed suit against Adobe Gila’s at The Greene in Beavercreek, Ohio, alleging that a bartender negligently served him a shot of tequila with ghost pepper extract. According to Bennett’s attorney, Bennett and his friend were out for a night on the town when the bartender offered them a round of shots. Bennett claims the group ordered a manly round of tequila shots with apple flavoring, but Bennett alleges that the bartender gave them the old switch-a-roo with the ghost pepper extract.
Upon taking the shot, Bennett allegedly fell to the ground in pain as his throat swelled shut. He was taken to the hospital and was ultimately just fine.
So what exactly is ghost pepper extract? Ghost pepper extract is one of the hottest peppers short of weapons grade pepper spray. Pepper spray comes in between 2 to 5 million on the Scoville scale. Ghost pepper, which is actually intended for use in foods and not incapacitating criminals, comes in right behind at just under 1 million on the scale. By comparison, a jalapeno pepper is only around 10,000 Scoville units.
Serving a ghost pepper shot to a patron without a warning would certainly qualify as negligence. However, the claim seems a little suspect. It’s not like we are talking about Tabasco sauce. What bartender would a) have ghost pepper extract handy at the bar and b) think to put it in shot? Maybe the bartender was Loyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber. According to the restaurant’s owner, they don’t even stock ghost pepper extract at their facilities. He did, however, admit that there may have been hot sauce in the shot.
Apparently, in addition to damages for medical expenses, Bennett also seeks damages for some real intense pain and suffering. Bennett’s attorney told the Dayton Daily News, “Over the course of the next two weeks, when he has to go to the bathroom, it is an excruciating experience.” Ouch.