assualt; artichoke; negligence; restaurant; liability


Assault by Artichoke

Artichokes, when prepared and eaten properly, can be very delicious, and most people are at least familiar with this vegetable and how to eat it properly. As most know, the outer leaves of the vegetable can be very tough, as well as bitter and sharp. Typically, a person will use their teeth to scrape away the edible portion of the vegetable. However, it seems that not everyone is aware of the proper and safe way to eat an artichoke.

Dr. Arturo Carvajal from Miami filed a lawsuit against a restaurant that served him an artichoke and did not instruct him on the proper way to eat it. According to his attorney, he believed that the entire leaf was edible and believed it was like food that he’d eaten in his native land of Cuba, where everything was consumable.

In 2009, the doctor was dining at a restaurant and ordered an artichoke. His attorney claims that the doctor had never heard of the vegetable before, nor had he ever seen one. The doctor, not knowing any better, decided that he would eat the entire vegetable, which caused some severe problems for him later. He suffered from a substantial amount of pain and discomfort in his abdomen as his body tried to digest the leaves.

When he had an exploratory laparoscopy, they discovered that there were leaves still located in his bowel. He says that he suffered from mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, and that he was no longer able to enjoy life. He believes that they should have taught him the proper way to eat the artichoke. His lawsuit claimed that they were negligent that they did not instruct him. He sought damages more than $15,000 for the injuries he suffered.

Should the server have taken the time to teach him how to eat the artichoke? The doctor and his attorney have their opinion, but it is not a popular one. They believe it was the duty of the restaurant to train the staff to explain how to eat an artichoke.

Of course, you can imagine what would happen if the server had tried to instruct the wrong people on how to eat an artichoke. They might end up suing because they thought the server was singling them out or making them feel stupid, and people have certainly sued over similar type things in the past.

The restaurant chain had their own opinion on the matter. While they did feel bad that the doctor had to go to the hospital, they also saw this as something of a frivolous lawsuit. They said, “It’s just kind of a silly notion… what’s next? Are we going to have to post warnings on our menu that they shouldn’t eat the bones in our barbecue ribs?”

After all, the doctor did order the artichoke of his own free will, and if he did not know what it was or how to eat it properly, most feel that he should have been the one to ask.

If you are ever in a restaurant, and you are not sure what a certain dish is or what it contains, and you want to order it, you should make sure that you know how to eat it or ask a server.