Archive for Friday, February 10, 2006

Jury rejects $16 million shrimp-tossing lawsuit

February 10, 2006


— A Long Island jury didn't bite on a widow's tale that a sizzling shrimp tossed by a Benihana chef ultimately led to her husband's death.

The six-member panel rejected the $16 million claim that a neck injury suffered by Jerry Colaitis - allegedly while he was trying to dodge a shrimp at the Japanese restaurant in Munsey Park, N.Y. - set off a series of medical problems that ended with his death 11 months later.

"I'm shocked," widow Jacqueline Colaitis, 47, said as she left state Supreme Court in Mineola, N.Y. "I think Benihana should be held liable, even if it's not money. I don't care if they don't give a penny. They just can't get away with this."

The shrimp-tossing incident occurred in January 2001 when Jerry Colaitis, 46, who owned a Queens fur shop, took his family to the Benihana for his son's 9th birthday.

Jacqueline Colaitis testified that her husband wrenched his neck while trying to dodge a piece of grilled shrimp flicked by a chef. Later that night he experienced neck pain. After undergoing two spinal surgeries, he contracted a staph infection and died Nov. 22, 2001.


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