Nova Scotia

Typos and gaffes plague N.S. restaurant menu at centre of legal case

A Nova Scotia graphic designer went to provincial small claims court to force a restaurant owner to pay for business cards and menus that were riddled with mistakes and for a banner that arrived too late.

Graphic designer takes bill to small claims court

The graphic designer took the description for “veggie combo” and used it for “garden seafood special”. The new menus described the seafood special as “grilled eggplant, falafels, grape leaves and lentil rice." (The Associated Press)

You eat in a dinning room, right?

And “through” is actually spelled “trough”?

Those and other mistakes landed a Halifax graphic designer in small claims court.

Mohammad Ranjibar was commissioned to do business cards, menus and a banner for Ebrahim Gholami’s restaurant.

When Gholami saw the business cards, he was unhappy. There was a spelling mistake. At a small claims hearing in September, the adjudicator spotted the misspellings of “dining” and “through”.

Adjudicator Eric K. Slone wrote in his decision, “the claimant (Ranjibar) was very defensive about this. He said if the client approves a design with spelling errors, then he will give him what he wants."

Ranjibar offered to reprint the business cards but Gholami refused. Ranjibar reprinted them anyway.

Ranjibar’s next assignment was menus. Unfortunately, he took the description for “veggie combo” and used it for “garden seafood special”. The new menus described the seafood special as “grilled eggplant, falafels, grape leaves and lentil rice."

No mention of any seafood.

“The claimant suggested that they find a way to scratch it out,” Slone wrote, “or make a sticker to put over this item, or even just to use it the way it was.” Gholami wasn’t willing to do any of those things.

Slone wrote that there was no evidence Gholami did any rigorous proofreading. But then, Slone also noted that Ranjibar didn’t provide a proof for review.

Ranjibar tried to defend himself by saying some of the menu brochures had been used. But that was a mistake by a restaurant employee. Gholami told the employee to stop handing them out.

In the end, Slone decided both sides deserve some blame. So, he awarded Ranjibar compensation for his design costs and a third of his printing costs. That worked out to a total of $437.

As for the banner, Gholami ordered it to promote FIFA World Cup celebrations at his restaurant. It wasn’t delivered until midway through the event last summer in Brazil.

Slone said Ranjibar isn’t to blame, because the banner was a last-minute order.


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