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Determining liability when a server causes accidental burns

On Behalf of | May 24, 2023 | Personal Injury |

When dining out, people expect a pleasant experience that includes good food, excellent service, and, most importantly, safety. However, accidents can occur unexpectedly, and in a restaurant setting, servers sometimes accidentally burn patrons with a hot plate.

In such cases, determining who is responsible for the injury and who is liable for damages is crucial. Consider the factors involved in establishing liability, as well as the responsibilities of the restaurant and the individual server.

Duty of care and restaurant responsibility

Restaurants bear the duty of care to ensure the safety of their patrons. They are responsible for maintaining a safe environment and taking reasonable precautions to prevent accidents. This includes properly training waitstaff on handling hot plates and ensuring that plates are not scalding when served.

If a server fails to exercise caution and negligence leads to a patron sustaining a burn, the responsibility for the injury may fall on the restaurant. The restaurant’s standard of care extends to its employees, ensuring they receive adequate training and supervision to prevent accidents.

Server’s individual responsibility

While accidents can happen, restaurants and patrons expect servers to exercise a reasonable level of care when handling hot plates. This includes using appropriate serving techniques, such as utilizing oven mitts or towels, to minimize the risk of burns.

If a server’s negligence, such as mishandling a hot plate or failing to warn the customer about the temperature, directly results in a patron sustaining a burn, the server may be individually responsible for the injury. However, it is important to note that individual server responsibility does not absolve the restaurant of its duty of care.

The specifics of each case will vary, and liability may depend on the circumstances of the incident and the level of negligence involved. Understanding personal injury laws for your state can help determine the appropriate course of action in seeking compensation for the injury.