the defendant who simply placed two coffee pots, upon request, on a table
negligent and responsible for a patron who was burned?
According to the law, negligence occurs once
one has a obligation to act with some duty of care and fails to do so.
the Brown Derby Restaurant, the Paselas went for a small family lunch with her
two daughters and mother. The plaintiff claims that the defendant, Brown derby
are accountable for the burns experienced by her daughter, Christine Pasela.
This is based on her belief that the employees, Joann Sclimento, Susan Heffner,
and Nancy Filler acted in negligence on that fateful day. The Pasela family was
not the first, nor will they be the last family that steps into the Brown Derby
Restaurant. This restaurant has established a name for itself along with top notch
customer service that regular patrons have come to know and love.
the defendant and her family walked into the restaurant on July 27, 19983,
there were greeted and seated just like all the other customers when they enter
the Brown Derby Restaurant. The defendant, just under one year old had no
knowledge of where she was going, but her mother had the ultimate decision to
go anywhere else, but chose Brown Derby. Joann Sclimenti, the
defendant-appellee, who also happens to be the hostess noticed Ms. Christine
Pasela’s small size. Logically, she did not expect a child under one year old
to sit in a regular chair, so she grabbed a high chair for the young lady. The
plaintiff appellant, Karen Pasela noticed that the straps to fasten Christina were
missing from the high chair. In spite of having second thoughts, placed
Christina in the high chair. Right then and there, she assumes liability by
placing Christina in the chair although she knows that it lacks security.
waitress, defendant-appellee Nancy Filler came to ensure that the family was
situated. She also gave them the menu and took their drink orders in the
meantime. The plaintiff-appellate Karen Pasela and her mother, Margaret Sinko determined
coffee would be their drink of choice. Another waitress, Ms. Susan Heffner returned,
both individuals were busy reading the menus. At an attempt not to distract
them, Heffner placed the two coffee pots on the table. The defendant, Karen Pasela
was distracted while reviewing the menu. She also had to multitask caring for
Nicole and Christina. Mrs. Pasela testified that she was looking at the menu
and searching through the diaper bag for baby food to appease Nicole. Ms.
Pasela was indeed inattentive to Christina.
was also distracted. Although she claims to have kept an eye on Christine every
ten seconds, it wasn’t until Christine cried that she noticed there was an
accident. Ms. Pasela also claims to have glanced at Christine every twenty
seconds. Both Ms. Sinko and Ms. Pasela attested to never witnesses what
happened nor did they know that the coffee pots were on the table. Ultimately,
Christine had to be rushed to the hospital due to her burns.
order to establish neglect, one must determine that all four elements of
negligence have been met. See Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for
Physical Harm § 3 (P.F.D. No. 1, 2005).
Negligent conduct may consist of either an act, or an omission to act
when there is a duty to do so. See
Restatement (Second) of Torts § 282 (1965).
than implying that Brown Derby should be held liable, one may affirm that Ms.
Pasela acted in negligent conduct. She had a parental duty to act not only when
her child was in need, but prior to this incident because it was clearly
evident that it was a hazard prior to seating her child in the high chair. Even
after placing the child in the high chair, which she should not have done, she
failed to maintain supervision of Christina. The Brown Derby Restaurant did not
act unusually that day nor did they cause any physical harm.
Given the evidence, the judge would be compelled to formulate an
adjudication in the defendant’s favor.