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Saddle Bronc

Hindus sue Edison restaurant after it accidentally serves them non-veg samosas

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http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/edison_restaurant_can_be_sued.html

Edison restaurant can be sued after unknowingly serving meat to devout Hindu customers, appellate court rules

Mary Ann Spoto

2011/07/19 06:20

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The Moghul Express restaurant in Edison is shown in this file photo. A state appellate court ruled Monday the eatery can be sued after it unknowingly served devout Hindu customers meat.

EDISON - A group of Hindu residents can sue an Edison restaurant for money to travel to India, where they say they must purify their souls after eating meat, a state appellate court panel ruled Monday.

The decision by the three-judge panel reinstates a lawsuit filed against Moghul Express, the restaurant that admitted it accidentally served meat-filled pastries to 16 Hindus whose religion forbids them from eating nonvegetarian food.

The diners said the mix-up has harmed them spiritually and monetarily, and that to cleanse themselves of their sin — even though it was committed unknowingly — they must participate in a purification ritual in India’s Ganges River.

"If you follow the scriptures, it’s definitely a huge cost," said Mehul Thakkar, a spokesman for the Yogi Divine Society in Lake Hiawatha, a nonprofit socio-religious organization that adheres to the principles of the Swaminarayan faith of Hinduism. "If they are very strict about it, there definitely is a fee involved."

Thakkar, whose organization is not involved in the suit, declined to comment on the decision issued by Judges Dorothea Wefing, Edith Payne and Margaret Hayden.

He said the purification ceremony can last from three to 30 days, and that the cost of the trip, which can add up to thousands of dollars, is based on how much a participant can afford.

Hinduism, the third largest religion in the world and which is dominant in the Indian subcontinent, holds that meat consumption affects the purity of the soul and that those who eat meat cannot be with God after death.

"Pradip (Peter) Kothari, president of the Indo-American Cultural Society in Edison, said he was unaware of the lawsuit but said he thought it should have been dismissed.

This is a hypocrisy of religion and a hypocrisy of the law," said Kothari, who conceded that he does not strictly observe the Hindu religion. "They can go to a temple here and ask God for forgiveness. God is not going to punish you for doing something unknowingly."

Kothari is spot-on here. That claim for purification is not even practiced in India (where at most, the nearest river or temple will suffice). A reasonable settlement would be for Mogul Express to refund the cost of the entire dinner, and hand out vouchers for one free meal to each of the attendees. It is obvious that the plaintiffs here have copied a page from chopf### Louis Farakhan's orchestrated suits against Denny's.

For an India Day celebration in Edison on Aug. 10, 2009, the group placed an order for vegetarian samosas. The restaurant assured them it didn’t make the pastries with meat. Indeed, there was no meat-filled samosa on the restaurant’s appetizer menu, and the court’s decision said the tray of pastries given to the group was labeled vegetarian.

But soon after eating a few samosas, some in the group grew concerned the pastries might contain meat. According to the decision, the restaurant eventually acknowledged it had confused the order with one for meat-filled samosas and gave the group the non-vegetarian pastries.

The diners sued in Superior Court, alleging negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, consumer fraud, products liability and breach of express warranty. But the judge dismissed the allegations last year, and the diners appealed.

The appellate panel said Monday that the case could still go forward as breach of express warranty claim because of the restaurant’s assurance that the group was getting vegetarian samosas.

K. Raja Bhattacharya, the lawyer for the diners, and David Novack, an attorney for the restaurant, both declined to comment while the case is pending.

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I think this has merit- only in the way that the restaurant should know what's in the food they are serving. However, can't they purify their souls here?
Easily, as Kothari has stated above (there are lots of temples in US--especially in the Pittsburgh-Richmond-NYC triangle). And it isn't at all difficult to get Ganges water to the US--which would satisfy the absolute-hardest chops (I wouldn't be surprised if some of the temples actually have imported it and sell it).

And I suggested (in blue) the solution--the restaurant refund them and give them coupons for a free meal each.

Edited by Saddle Bronc

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Also a factoid: not all Hindus, even in India, are vegetarian--and then we have loads of Indians in Canada/USA/UK who are vegetarian when they visit their families/relatives in India but not "abroad". A good question is how many of those involved in the suit fit the latter group (which would potentially bin the case).

No surprise though that it occurred in the Garbage State.

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Also a factoid: not all Hindus, even in India, are vegetarian--and then we have loads of Indians in Canada/USA/UK who are vegetarian when they visit their families/relatives in India but not "abroad". A good question is how many of those involved in the suit fit the latter group (which would potentially bin the case).

No surprise though that it occurred in the Garbage State.

If what I'm hearing from a friend who runs a restaurant in that area is true what's really at play here is the fact that the people who own Moghul Express are Muslim.

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If what I'm hearing from a friend who runs a restaurant in that area is true what's really at play here is the fact that the people who own Moghul Express are Muslim.
Oh, a "use their own technique on them" approach (reference to Muslims--specifically NOI--having done lotsa lawsuits against Denny's claiming that some of these 24-hour dives served them pork)? Edited by Saddle Bronc

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Oh, a "use their own technique on them" approach (reference to Muslims--specifically NOI--having done lotsa lawsuits against Denny's claiming that some of these 24-hour dives served them pork)?

No. The rumor is that there was some unpleasantness over the order and the Muslims in charge decided to 'screw up'.

That's the rumor, do understand that the Hindu and Muslim restaurant owners in this area have been at loggerheads for a while. The Muslims do better business because their food is better. My friend who told me this is Muslim herself.

ETA: I doubt any of these fools who are suing know who Farakkhan is.

Edited by \

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Oh, a "use their own technique on them" approach (reference to Muslims--specifically NOI--having done lotsa lawsuits against Denny's claiming that some of these 24-hour dives served them pork)?

What's with that? Treat all muslims badly because you were treated badly by one?

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No. The rumor is that there was some unpleasantness over the order and the Muslims in charge decided to 'screw up'.

That's the rumor, do understand that the Hindu and Muslim restaurant owners in this area have been at loggerheads for a while. The Muslims do better business because their food is better. My friend who told me this is Muslim herself.

ETA: I doubt any of these fools who are suing know who Farakkhan is.

That one sounds really :lol:, as I have proof from Calgary (1988 Winter Olympics) that Southies can cook way better than Muslims--and that's with the stacks of restrictions that were placed for serving food near events.

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That one sounds really :lol:, as I have proof from Calgary (1988 Winter Olympics) that Southies can cook way better than Muslims--and that's with the stacks of restrictions that were placed for serving food near events.

I don't think you'd find it surprising that I am not really a fan of South Indian food.

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