Friday, January 13, 2006

Dining Out Can Kill You

Sometimes I find that the weird things of this world are just so crazy that I need add very little else to the story to make it ready to list on the blog. This is one of those stories…

Jerry Colaitis and his family went out to dinner at a local Munsey Park restaurant, one of the Benihana chain. If you’ve never been to this type of restaurant you really should try it, the food is good and a chef cooks it right at your table, giving you a ‘cooking floor show,’ while your food is prepared. This night the show included a bit where the chef cooks small amounts of meat or shrimp and then tosses it to the patron who attempts to catch the morsal in his or her mouth. His family claims that a shrimp that the hibachi chef tossed at a Mr. Colaitis ultimately led to his death. The family has filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain Benihana.
The family claims that Jerry wrenched his neck when he ducked to avoid the shrimp tossed his way. In the restaurant attorney’s opening statements (of Wednesday January 11, 2006) Benihana’s agrees, however they claim that this did not lead to his death.
It seems that months after the January 2001 incident, the 43-year-old Long Island man died from complications caused by neck surgery he required, do to an injury he claimed occurred after the food was shot his way even when he asked the chef not to do so, the family’s lawyer said.
Benihana lawyer Charles Connick said it was unlikely a chef who by the way, works for tips, would toss food at customers after being asked not to. Even if that happened, Connick added, the cause of Mr. Colaitis' death was an infection or neck injury unrelated to the shrimp.
Benihana chefs mix dining with entertainment as they grill Japanese food in front of patrons. "Some customers, especially dads and sons, want to catch the food," Connick explained on the restaurants behalf. "The evidence will show that it was part of the show."

Colaitis, of Old Brookville, underwent neck surgery in June 2001, but there were complications, and he had numbness in his arm. He died that November, a day after checking into a hospital with a 105-degree fever.

I have been to several Benihana restaurants and have always enjoyed their food, service and show. I honestly encourage you to visit one of their restaurants soon as I rate them very highly and recommend them to family and friends all the time. But remember, even the simple act of going out to eat can ultimately kill you in this weird world of ours!

Bon Apatite!

I’m Average Joe

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