New Jersey: Caterer Not Liable in Tort for Employee’s Injuries Caused by “Flaming Pig”

New Jersey: Caterer Not Liable in Tort for Employee’s Injuries Caused by “Flaming Pig”

In an unpublished decision, a New Jersey appellate court recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a catering employer that had been sued by a waitress who sustained severe burns when an inexperienced co-employee doused a flaming pig with grain alcohol, causing it to “erupt” in flames, resulting in burns and eventual scarification to the plaintiff’s right hand, forearm and right abdomen.  The two waitresses were presenting the specially prepared, flaming suid at a wedding party; the co-employee apparently thought the event could use some additional excitement.  Applying the “substantial certainty” exception to the intentional injury rule followed by New Jersey, the court agreed that this particular presentation had not occurred before and there was no certainty that an injury was going to occur. The court agreed that while the co-employee made "a poor decision and probably a negligent decision" in pouring the wood grain alcohol on the pig, the negligent activity was insufficient to establish the substantial certainty test. 

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See Jarosz v. G&B LLC, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2303 (Sept. 19, 2013) [2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2303 (Sept. 19, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.04 [103.04]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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