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Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Sued Over Burger Injury

By Brett Snider, Esq. on January 31, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A chef is suing a Gordon Ramsay-owned restaurant in New York City after a bite into a burger allegedly claimed his sense of taste.

Markus Barthel, a German chef who visited Ramsay's restaurant -- called Gordon Ramsay at The London -- in March 2013, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday claiming that something sharp concealed between the buns sliced up his tongue, the New York Daily News reports.

A good palate is key to a good chef, but is Ramsay's restaurant responsible for putting Barthel off his taste game?

Barthel's Burger Had a 'Sharp Piece'

Normally the only thing sharp about a burger might be the cheddar, but Barthel claims that his burger contained some "sharp piece of ceramic or other material had been concealed in the hamburger."

The shard of unknown origin apparently cut the German chef's tongue so badly that he required surgery, continues to suffer pain, and lost his job as a professional chef. Barthel's suit ties his loss of employment to his inability "to perform the duties of a professional chef," which is likely referring to his ability to use his tongue as fine-tuned taste instrument.

Lost earning capacity is but one of many ways in which victims who file suit for their injuries can recover. If Barthel can prove that Gordon Ramsay's restaurant was at fault in causing his tongue injury, he may be able to receive a large award for losing his ability to be an effective chef.

Negligence, Product Liability Claims

Barthel made two kinds of claims in his lawsuit against Gordon Ramsay's restaurant: one relating to negligence and the other to the burger itself.

Using a concept referred to as res ipsa loquitur, Barthel's suit assumes that when extraordinary injuries occur (like bricks falling from the sky or shards of something in your burger), the cause is presumed to be negligence -- namely that of the restaurant and its staff.

The other claims are related to the shard-laden burger itself. Just like any product sold, a restaurant implicitly warrants that the food it sells is safe for its intended purpose -- in this case, eating. Because eating shards of whatever is patently unsafe, the restaurant not only violated its implied warranty but also sold a defective, unsafe product, Barthel's suit asserts.

To be clear, Gordon Ramsay is not a defendant in the lawsuit. A spokesman for Ramsay's restaurant declined to comment, the Daily News reports.

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