Friday, November 26, 2004

When the shrimp fly at you, duck. No ... don't duck!

November 24, 2004 -- A flying shrimp cost a Long Island man his life, court papers charge.

Jacqueline Colaitis, the widow of fur magnate Jerry Colaitis, says in a $10 million lawsuit that her husband died in November 2001 as a result of injuries he suffered nearly 10 months earlier while ducking a piece of shrimp flung by a "playful" chef at a Benihana restaurant.

"This was a man who was in good health until this incident," said Colaitis' lawyer, Andre Ferenzo. Ducking the shrimp, however, caused a neck injury that required surgery and the operation caused an infection that took Colaitis' life, Ferenzo said.

"He would not have died if not for his injury," the lawyer said...

Nassau Supreme Court Justice Roy Mahon has refused the restaurant's bid to throw the wrongful-death claims out for now, finding that "there is an issue of fact as to whether the events of Jan. 27, 2001, were the proximate cause of Jerry Colaitis' death on Nov. 22".... [NY Post]
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Well, one might imagine the later surgery leading to fatal infection as being a rather more proximate cause. And that the proximate cause of Benihana being named a defendant is merely the depth of its pocket.

But be that as it may, the moral of the story is that when a shrimp comes flying at you it's best to stand up to it and take the blow.

(I mean, just explaining to all one's friends and doctors how one cracked one's own neck for fear of a shrimp seems bad enough to me -- not even considering how the doctors might kill one over it.)

A bit of machismo can be a healthy thing.