Woman Suing Thai Restaurant After Spicy Food Burnt Her Throat
Most of the time when you go to a Thai restaurant, the menu gives you the options for spiciness level, but sometimes there are items that you can't pick how spicy they are, they're just super spicy.
A place called Coup de Thai in Los Gatos, California serves a menu item known to be extremely spicy that they lovingly call "Dragon Balls."
Dragon Balls are "spicy chicken" balls with mint, shallot, green onion, cilantro, kaffir lime leaf, and chili, priced at $11.
A woman Harjasleen Walia is now suing the restaurant because of a 2021 visit to the place that she claims resulted in her body being "forever damaged" by the Dragon Balls.
According to the suit, Walia read that the dish was marked as spicy, so she requested the balls be less spicy because she doesn't tolerate spicy foods very well.
The server agreed to have the chef make the dish with less of the spicy ingredients.
As the suit reads, Walia says when she took a bite of the Dragon Balls, she immediately felt "an intense burning sensation in her mouth, throat, and nose, which led to her eyes and nose watering, as well as coughing fits."
While you're thinking, 'Yeah, that's what happens when you eat something spicy,' she says it was the start of something much worse. Walia was later diagnosed with internal "chemical burns" from the Dragon Balls, the lawsuit claims.
The restaurant, once they heard of the woman at the hospital, said they've never had someone burned by a dish and in need of medical attention. The restaurant's supervisor, Luck Pryer, added that although the Dragon Balls appetizer is spicy, they do not use excessive chili spice, and it's not possible to make a "mild" version of the dish as the chili is inside the balls.
Customers who cannot handle spicy foods are generally encouraged to order something else.
Walia, meanwhile, claims that the dish caused severe chemical burns to her vocal cords, esophagus, and right nostril, according to the lawsuit, which also states some of the injuries are permanent and will be "forever damaged."
Regarding the ingredient that was the biggest cause of problems for her, the lawsuit singles out Thai "bird's eye" chili as making the Dragon Balls "unfit for human consumption".
The suit names the restaurant and its owner, the chef who cooked the dish, the waitress who took her order, and anyone who "in any way influenced, designed, prepared, or participated in creating the Dragon Ball dish," as those who have to answer for the burns. The suit also claims that the chilis were not tested for spiciness prior to serving them.
Walia is seeking unspecified damages, medical expenses, and compensation for purportedly lost earnings in her lawsuit.
Read more at Mercury News