Diner sues restaurant after eating whole artichoke

The offending vegetable in a Florida restaurant's lawsuit.

The offending vegetable in a Florida restaurant's lawsuit.

Are restaurants legally obligated to educate their customers about how to eat the foods they're served? Should barbecue ribs come with a warning not to eat the bones, or Jucy Lucy burgers a disclaimer regarding potential molten cheese burns?

Last month, Arturo Carvajal filed suit in Miami-Dade County against the Hillstone Restaurant group for not warning him to eat the prickly leaves of a house special of grilled artichokes in May of 2009. Business Insurance reports:


Mr. Carvajal said he had neither seen nor heard of the dish previously, and his waiter never told him that the outside portion of the leaf is indigestible. As a result, Mr. Carvajal began "experiencing severe abdominal pain and discomfort," according to the suit. An exploratory procedure revealed artichoke leaves lodged in his small bowel.

Mr. Carvajal alleges that the restaurant and its manager were negligent in failing to train table servers to tell patrons about "the proper method of consuming an artichoke."

He is seeking nonspecified damages for bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, aggravation of pre-existing conditions as well as medical expenses, among other charges.

To what extend should restaurants be liable for the foods they serve? Can you believe it's been eight years since McDonald's was ordered to pay $640,000 to a woman burned by hot coffee?