Ypsilanti coney island owner calls lawsuit over hot corned beef hash 'ridiculous'
A lawsuit filed recently in Washtenaw County alleges an Ypsilanti coney island restaurant served a woman scorching hot corned beef hash that burned her mouth, according to court records.
The suit, filed by Allysen M. Kauppinen on May 7, states that she came to Luca’s Coney Island in July 2010 and ordered eggs and corned beef hash. Records show the 43-year-old woman lives in Ypsilanti Township about a mile away from the restaurant, located at 309 E. Michigan Ave.
The eggs were of normal temperature, but the hash was too hot and severely burned Kauppinen’s mouth, forcing her to seek medical attention, the lawsuit alleges.
“The hash apparently had been heated in a microwave oven and was considerably hotter than (she) was expecting,” the suit states. “ She sustained serious burns to the skin in her mouth and on her palate.”
Kauppinen, who is seeking more than $25,000 in damages, thinks the food was heated unnecessarily hot and that she should have been warned the food was dangerous, according to the suit.
She said the hot hash required her to avoid solid food for a month. This caused her “great emotional upset, embarrassment and pain,” according to the lawsuit. She also incurred both medical and pharmaceutical expenses.
Luca’s owner Mike Nuculaj said his corned beef hash is not microwaved and is cooked on the restaurant’s grill.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said about the lawsuit. “Corned beef hash has to come hot. Hot food is served hot, cold is served cold.”
Nuculaj said he recalled Kauppinen trying to sue him him before over the hot hash. He’s not sure what happened to the first suit, but said that it was filed by a different attorney and never settled.
He wishes Kauppinen had come to see him after being served the alleged too-hot hash.
“I’m sorry the lady never came to see me,” he said, adding that he always tries to compensate dissatisfied customers in some fashion. “(Now) it’s for the courts. I’m shocked and I’m surprised.”
In a phone message left for AnnArbor.com, Kauppinen’s Farmington Hills-based attorney Ron A. Steinberg confirmed the lawsuit is proceeding forward
“Everything that is stated in the complaint is true and accurate,” he said in the message.
He could not immediately be reached for further comment. There were no hearing dates yet set in the matter, according to court records.