Thursday, January 12, 2006

Man Killed By Shrimp

Benihana shrimp toss cited in death


January 11, 2006, 10:12 PM EST

The first piece of shrimp hit Jerry Colaitis' brother-in-law square in the forehead, attorney Andre Ferenzo told a jury Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Mineola.

The next one scorched the arm of Colaitis' son.

So when Colaitis looked up from his dinner at the Benihana restaurant in Munsey Park to see a third sizzling-hot shrimp sailing at his head, he jerked his neck away, Ferenzo said.

That violent motion wrenched Colaitis' neck and led, less than a year later, to the 43-year-old's death, said Ferenzo, a Roslyn lawyer representing Colaitis' estate. Now, about four years later, Colaitis' family hopes to win more than $10 million in damages for pain and suffering, lost earning potential and wrongful death.

But Charles Connick, a Mineola lawyer for the Benihana chain, said it's unlikely a chef who works for tips would toss food at customers after being asked not to, as Ferenzo claimed. And even so, he said the cause of Colaitis' death was an infection unrelated to the shrimp or a neck injury.
There's a Homer Simpson moment in there...