A husband & wife celebrate their anniversary @ a restaurant. When they touch glasses to toast the glass broke in her hand severing a tendon?After going to the hospital the doctor says to wife...

A husband & wife celebrate their anniversary @ a restaurant. When they touch glasses to toast the glass broke in her hand severing a tendon?

After going to the hospital the doctor says to wife you will be unable to use your right index finger again. The husband files a suit against the restaurant, claiming $100,000 for permanent injury. The restaurant owner says "we shouldn't have to pay a penny, we're only responsible for what we sell; we sold the wine, we didn't sell the glass."  Should the restaurant have to pay for the wife's injury?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I view it differently: I think that this is what is called "a terrible accident" and there is no causal motif for either the restaurant or the glass makers to be held liable, as they did not voluntarily nor involuntarily caused it.

For the restaurant to be sued, there would have to be a pattern establish that could link this event to previous accidents of the same nature. Same goes with the glass makers. 

Furthermore, the situation could be compared to sueing the people who made the spoon you ate cereal with because you shoved it in your mouth and it hurt your tongue. Even further, it would be like getting in a car accident, claiming insurance from the person who caused it, and then go sue both car makers for your accident?

It is one of those cases where, although it is hard to accept as a culture, stuff does happen sometimes, and there is no real culprit, but circumstances.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we are just talking opinions here (rather than having to look up legal precedents or anything) my guess is that the restaurant would be liable.

By using those particular glasses, the restaurant is at least implying that they are safe to use.  It is the responsibility of the restaurant to check the glasses to make sure that they are safe.

Nowadays, the husband and wife would probably sue the glass-maker as well and the glass-maker and restaurant would argue over who has how much liability.

But it does not seem to me that the restaurant should escape liability -- when they use something in their restaurant, they are implying that it is safe.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The plea of the restaurant owner that we sold wine and not the glass is not supported by law. The restaurant is a service provider who not only sells the food and drinks served but also sells the services like providing for use of their customer the place in the restaurant, furniture, cutlery, crockery, and the like. In this way, the restaurant is responsible for consequences of using all these including the wine glasses.

I believe the only possible defence for the restaurant owner is to say that the wine glasses were basically of satisfactory quality, and the breaking of the glass and the resultant injury was the result of subjecting the glass to an impact which is much more than what is expected during normal use.