Source, Lowering the Bar: Home of Throwed Rolls Sued for Throwin’ Rolls
Another absurdist and hilarious real-life 100 percent genuine lawsuit story from Lowering the Bar.
I had no idea there were eateries in this great, great country of ours that, yes, threw rolls! At customers! And that’s their shtick. So if you go into a shtick like that–where everybody knows your name and everybody knows that them rolls will be thrown at you…
Here’s how it begins, in Kevin Underhill’s adapted Missouri dialect:
Really for hittin’ a gal in her cornea and whatnot after them rolls was throwed. But there’s lawyerin’ afoot now, that’s definite.
Lambert’s Cafe was founded in Sikeston, Missouri (in the “bootheel”) in 1942, and now has three locations due to the popularity of its food and atmosphere. Never been there myself (I’m from the opposite corner of Missouri) but based on the web page you might describe the atmosphere as “Ozark Fun”—rustic (there’s a wagon wheel out front), with down home good eatin’ food and not all snooty like them fancy places up in St. Louis, where folks wear ties and such. Lambert’s is known for its fresh hot rolls and, more to the point, for the fact that they throw ’em at you.
That the rolls is throwed ain’t a secret.
It’s a sellin’ point.
Made from scratch and baked fresh all day, every day–hot rolls from LAMBERT’S are not only fun to catch, but delicious to eat. Spread some real butter on them or get adventurous and try some country sorghum molasses on them. But, like we said, the real fun is catching a roll. Even more fun is watching other people catch them, or at least try to. Dozens of hot rolls are flying through the air every few minutes at LAMBERT’S, so be alert and have a roll.
Despite these specific warnings, given the number of rolls throwed (they bake over 2.2 million per year, the site claims, though likely not all are throwed), it was probably inevitable that sooner or later somebody would get hit in the eye. That person sued Wednesday (Riverfront Times, KFVS).
According to the reports, the plaintiff claims she “sustained a lacerated cornea with a vitreous detachment and all head, neck, eyes and vision were severely damaged” by the roll. Seems very unlikely that “all head [and] neck” were severely damaged by a dinner roll, unless they throw them at something close to escape velocity, but let’s assume the other injuries are at least possible.
The obvious precedent here is the lawsuit against the Kansas City Royals by the guy who claimed its mascot Sluggerrr threw a hot dog into his eye socket. While a jury eventually found in favor of the Royals, Missouri courts rejected the Royals’ argument that as with the risk of foul balls, one who goes to a baseball game assumes the risk that a guy in a lion suit will launch a dog at his or her face. (For all the details you could want on that five-year saga, start here.) But there, the plaintiff had a decent argument that, as one court put it, “the risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game.” Is that going to work here?
I doubt it.
Now that’s a legal advisory: don’t go rushing into Lambert’s to get rolls thrown at your corneas, because I suspect this lawsuit is going nowhere.
PS. I notice that they don’t take credit cards and their portions are apparently so massive their customers nearly faint in disbelief. (Now maybe the fainting customers could sue, depending on what happened to them post-faint.) This reminds me of the Carnegie Deli, although they don’t toss the rye at you. Or the pastrami, more’s the pity.