Can I Waiver Injury If I Take the Spicy Ramen Noodle Challenge?

Posted in waivers in Georgia on August 19, 2020

Take the challenge, We dare you!

Chunky’s Burgers in San Antonio, Texas has the Four Horsemen Burger: a half-pound burger topped with a jalapeno, serrano, habanero, and ghost pepper sauce.

Over in Gainesville, Florida, Pazza Bistro dares you to try their “Inferno Pizza.” It’s a 12-inch pizza topped with a spicy sauce made from jalapeno, habanero, and ghost peppers.

But perhaps the greatest food challenge, is right here in Georgia. YATAI Ramen + Yakitori, a new restaurant in Savannah has a spicy ramen challenge. The authentic eatery touts its Japanese-style ramen noodles and skewered meats called yakitori. And for those who like things on the spicy side, they have just what you’re looking for: a nice “toasty” bowl of noodles.

However, there’s a catch: you have to sign a waiver and be at least 18 to order the hot dish. The restaurant says only one person has successfully defeated the odds to date and can claim to be a sovereign of spiciness.

The Spicy Ramen Challenge requires you to wolf down the entrée that’s made with a spicy Mala base and an extra-concentrated pepper extract. Mala is usually made from a blend of Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, and other pungent spices simmered in oil. In case you’re wondering, capsaicin usually is the cause of overheating. It’s found in many of the hottest peppers, such as habanero and cayenne. Another edible evildoer is allyl isothiocyanate, which is the rocket fuel in horseradish, mustard, and wasabi.

If you’re not sweating yet, maybe you will once you read over the waiver. It states that you acknowledge that the Spicy Ramen Challenge may be a health hazard and that you might be risking damage or serious injury to yourself, including choking, vomiting, or feeling nauseous and dizzy.

 

What is a Waiver?

If you take the Spicy Ramen Challenge, the restaurant wants you to dig in with your watering eyes wide open. They also don’t want to get sued if you can’t talk, eat, or swallow for several days after eating their noodles.

Waivers are frequently used by businesses to try to avoid responsibility for wrongful conduct. You see them (or maybe you don’t) at amusement parks like Six Flags or Legoland, water parks like the one at the Great Wolf Lodge, workout facilities, and sporting events, like the Braves’ Truist Park.

It’s a sort of “you broke it, you bought” idea.

When you sign a company’s liability waiver, like the one at noodle shop, you’re agreeing that you won’t hold them legally responsible for your scorched mouth or incinerated digestive tract from any ordinary negligence. Ordinary negligence is one of the two kinds of negligence. The other is gross negligence.

To successfully prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant (the amusement park, athletic club, or the equestrian center where you take barrel racing lessons) had a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances (to protect the visitor from harm). Next, the plaintiff must prove the defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way (the park failed to take sufficient safety precautions), and that action or inaction caused the plaintiff’s injury (the burnt esophagus or broken leg while horseback riding).

 

What is Negligence?

Ordinary negligence is unsafe conditions that can occur even when a property owner or service provider is trying to maintain a safe environment. This may be inoperative equipment, a lack of netting around home plate at a ballpark, faulty seatbelts on a rollercoaster, or other unsafe conditions. This may be unintentional.

On the other hand, gross negligence is a willful disregard for customer safety. Here, the defendant is aware of the hazard, but fails to take action to mitigate the risk and protect the visitors, fans, or customers. For example, the park worker doesn’t like a kid’s New Orleans Saints jersey and doesn’t strap him in to the Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags.

Despite signing a waiver, you still may be able to bring a legal action against the person or business if their behavior or conduct is found to be gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

 

Are Liability Waivers Enforceable in Georgia?

To answer that question, it’s best to speak to an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney. The law in Georgia spells out the circumstances in which a waiver is unenforceable. For instance, Georgia courts have determined that waivers are unenforceable in an agreement for the construction or maintenance of a building and in leases to protect a landlord from liability. In addition, state courts have found waivers and exculpatory agreements for doctors and hospitals unenforceable (“if we operate on the wrong leg, you can’t sue us”).

To be enforceable, a waiver must be clear and unambiguous, and if it isn’t, a court may also say that it’s unenforceable.

So you can see why it’s critical that you consult with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney Atlanta residents trust to carefully review any paperwork you signed.

 

Takeaway

You can always cool off with the Rocky Top Ice Cream Challenge at the It’s All So Yummy Cafe in Knoxville, Tennessee by gulling down 16 scoops of ice cream, 3 brownies, 3 bananas, chocolate sauce, sugar cones, marshmallows, candy, and whip cream.

But if you or a family member have been seriously injured, even if you signed some sort of liability waiver, you should speak to experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer Atlanta residents trust.

Tobin Injury Law helps victims of auto accidents, nursing home neglect, sexual assault, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and negligence. Please contact our law firm at 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423). We are happy to provide you with a free consultation when it’s convenient to you.