Court nixes monetary reward in hair-in-steak case

CREATED Dec. 5, 2012

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court says a Texas Roadhouse customer who found human hair in his steak can't collect $125,000 in damages.

Kevin Hansen visited the restaurant in West Bend in February 2008. After he complained his steak was overcooked, a manager offered him a replacement steak he could take home. Believing Hansen wanted free food, cook Ryan Kropp stuffed some of his hair into a slit he cut in the new steak.

Hansen sued Texas Roadhouse. A jury found the restaurant wasn't negligent and Kropp acted on his own but still said the restaurant owed Hansen $125,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled the damage award was improper. The court said the blame lies with Kropp and the restaurant didn't cause his conduct.