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What's the cost of a cup of tea at IHOP? According to a recent case, try a whopping $104,971.
In Ptasinski v. International House of Pancakes, Dana Ptasinski was badly burned when her waiter spilled a cup of hot tea into Ms. Ptasinski's lap, causing first degree burns as well as some scarring and disfigurement to her leg. Witnesses claimed the waiter was unsteady and tipped the saucer when serving the tea. As luck would have it, Ms. Ptasinski's wedding ceremony was scheduled for the following day, and the severe pain from which she suffered prevented her from fully enjoying the event. The burns also required eight months of treatment, which included repeated draining of the impacted areas. Ms. Ptasinski later commenced a negligence lawsuit against IHOP in the Monroe County Supreme Court.

While many of us have a relatively short list of expectations when dining out, we hope that the restaurants we visit will be relatively clean, provide decent service, and have an appetizing array of food offerings. Of course, the degree and range of these expectations will vary depending on one's personal preferences and the establishment in question, but the jury's verdict in this case recognized a constant element that many take for granted--to be served safely.
After four hours steeped in deliberation, the jury determined that both IHOP and its waitstaff failed to fulfill their duty of safe service, and awarded the plaintiff $104,971 in damages.
Do you think Ms. Ptasinski left a nice tip?