Two men are determined to make Marin County a safer place for escargot consumers, their families and generations of snail eaters to come...

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NOVATO, Calif. — Two men are determined to make Marin County a safer place for escargot consumers, their families and generations of snail eaters to come.

Coming to Marin Superior Court, small-claims division, is the case of Chadwick St.-OHarra and Steve Righetti, who are suing the Seafood Peddler restaurant in San Rafael over an alleged incident of what their lawsuit called “exploding” escargot that marred Righetti’s birthday dinner in June.

Plaintiffs allege the gastronomical gastropods burst from their plate when cocktail forks were applied, resulting in a spray of hot garlic butter on their faces and polo shirts.

St.-OHarra, 59, of Danville, claims the butter got into one of his tear ducts, causing temporary vision impairment. Righetti, 59, a businessman who lives in Sonoma, claims the side of his nose was squirted.

“I was humiliated,” said Righetti, who owns an automotive shop near the restaurant. “I thought, ‘Do I need this on my birthday?’ “

St.-OHarra, an information-technology executive, says the incident caused “a sense of genuine outrage.”

Still, he said, the incident need not have resulted in litigation, had restaurant personnel displayed sufficient remorse at the scene of the slime. They did not, plaintiffs allege.

The lawsuit names the restaurant and two supervisors as defendants. A trial is set for Dec. 3.