Can vegetarians sue a restaurant for serving them meat? A panel of three appellate judges in New Jersey have decided that yes, they can. A group of 16 Jersey Hindus, claiming they were spiritually injured, are suing the owner of the Indian restaurant Moghul Express in Edison for serving them a platter meat-filled samosas when the restaurant had promised it only served the vegetarian variety. The group is now seeking monetary damages to cover the costs of a trip to India to cleanse themselves in the Ganges River.
The whole thing started back on August 10, 2009, when the group placed their order. Though the restaurant's menu only listed vegetarian samosas the party double checked that the pastries would not be filled with meat and were told that was the truth. But of course, despite a label saying "VEG samosas," it wasn't. While eating them the group got concerned and called to triple-check and were again assured they were eating vegetarian samosas. Finally, they brought the samosas back to the store where, according to the complaint, an employee admitted that the treats had been inadvertently switched with an order of meat samosas for another group.
The Hindus then sued in Superior Court, alleging negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, consumer fraud, products liability and breach of express warranty. That suit was initially dismissed by a judge, but yesterday an appellate panel reversed that decision because of the breach of express warranty aspect: the suit goes on because the restaurant had assured the group it was eating vegetarian samosas.
Now, while we understand how eating meat could really mess a person's day up (there are many a veggie here at Gothamist HQ) can this not be the start of a trend that spreads into our state? The last thing Park Slope needs are a bunch of litigious propeller parents suing restaurants because they inadvertently served little Holden a non-free range, hormone-filled chicken breast sandwich when they had sworn all of their chicken breasts were free range.