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Found Something Foreign in Your Food? Injured? Your Legal Options

Eating establishments are required to have a duty of care to each and every one of their patrons. They have a responsibility to serve proper food adhering to the health standards of their respective states; breaching these standards can lead to disastrous consequences for the restaurant or eatery, such as being blacklisted by customers, removed from search engines, or else getting shut down entirely. A closure can cost many individuals their jobs and make it difficult to sustain a living. Restaurant owners, therefore, have a duty to both their employees and their patrons. The establishment owes its patrons a high duty of care; in cases where foreign objects were discovered in food, some customers have been able to file lawsuits and successfully collect damages stemming from the incidents. At Normandie Law Firm, Some of our clients have experienced foreign objects in food or been taken ill by food poisoning after dining out. These clients often have questions about what they can do to move forward and pursue legal action to receive restitution for their damages. Examples of these questions include:

  • Where can I find an attorney for a broken tooth caused by a foreign object?
  • I need an attorney for a broken tooth caused by a foreign object in your food. Who should I call?
  • Can I sue a restaurant for hair in my food?
  • How do I file a claim against a restaurant for finding something in my food?

What Count as Foreign Objects in Food?
Food that we consume is not meant to have foreign objects in it. Even though standards of health have risen over time, there are still occasions where things that do not belong in food will find their way in. Some of these objects may be harmless and present in very minute amounts, while others may cause various types of damage to the mouth or digestive system if consumed. However, not all objects that are present in food may be described as foreign. If there is a reasonable cause for the object to be in the food, you will not have any grounds for a foreign object in food lawsuit.

For example, if you are at a restaurant that serves fried fish, it is reasonable to expect fish bones in some of the fish. Meat in general often has bone of some kind; steaks, for instance, and chicken wings are almost always served with the bones intact. The same goes for many fruits and their seeds or pits. Cherries are expected to have the cherry pit inside of them, for instance.

Other objects are undeniably foreign objects, such as glass, screws, nails, pebbles, plastic, wood, rocks, and more. None of these things are quite edible, but sometimes you are subjected to tiny bits in your food. A common occurrence is if you are eating sushi with chopsticks, but the chopsticks splinter and break, leading to some small wood bits in your food. Although the small amount of wood will not kill you, it may cut your mouth or throat. However, if the chopsticks were not served with the meal – that is, if you elected to open a pair that was prepackaged and given to you – you may not have the ability to file a claim.

Common Causes of Foreign Objects in Food
Most often, foreign objects are found in food that has been imported from shady or unreliable distributors. Many businesses are concerned with profits and efficiency, and they do not care too much about the health of their customers or the reputation of their buyers. The places that distribute these foods may have employees who are poorly trained and would not notice a piece of metal falling into a vat, who would wear their jewelry while working and risk it coming loose and lodging in the food, or who use equipment that is outdated and unsanitary. However, the problem may lie with those preparing the food at the establishment. Some workers have been known to bite their fingernails while working, leading to the nails falling in food. Perhaps a ring has been lost and later found in a hamburger. It is crucial for businesses to hire competent employees to prepare food, but it is also important that they greatly consider the places from which they are ordering their materials.

Unfortunately, cases of foreign objects found in food are often seen with major corporations or chains. This may be due to the emphasis on efficiency and profit as opposed to quality of food and customer satisfaction. Smaller “hole in the wall” or “mom and pop” restaurants are less likely to have cases filed against them concerning foreign objects in food. Some of these fast food chains where these incidents may occur include:

  • McDonald’s
  • Burger King
  • Wendy’s
  • Subway
  • Chipotle
  • Five Guys
  • El Pollo Loco
  • In N Out Burger
  • Pizza Hut
  • KFC
  • Domino’s
  • Jersey Mike’s
  • Jimmy Johns
  • Panda Express
  • Del Taco
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Checkers
  • Rally’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Jack in the Box

Impact of Foreign Objects in Food
Foreign objects present in food can lead to multiple injuries. If the objects are hard or sharp, they can cause cuts and lacerations in the mouth and throat, slice the tongue and gums, and damage the stomach and intestines when swallowed. Although minor cuts and such will heal relatively quickly, there is the chance that the wounds can become infected, especially if the object in question came into contact with contaminated materials during preparation or distribution. It is simply not safe to have bits of things like metal or plastic in your mouth, as they could have been exposed to salmonella, animal feces, blood, and more.

Additionally, some larger objects that unknowingly pass into food products can cause broken teeth or a broken tooth. This may cause small disfigurements to the face and rack up dental bills getting the tooth replaced or capped.

Further, a foreign object in the food may cause an allergic reaction. This is an important aspect to notice: foreign objects may not only constitute things that are not considered food, but also other things that are not reasonably expected in the meal. For example, if you order a Ceasar salad, you are expecting to have croutons, lettuce, cheese, and more, but not peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy, you may have an allergic reaction and not be prepared for it. Food allergies can be severe and life-threatening at times, and the establishment would be held responsible for a foreign object mistakenly entering the salad. Often, this will more often be the result of worker negligence than distributor error. Other foods present in meals can usually be attributed to someone not paying attention in the kitchen.

To File a Claim
The most important part of filing a lawsuit against an establishment that served you a meal with a foreign object in it is the effect it had on your health; namely, did an injury occur from the meal? If there were no injury, then there can be no lawsuit. Merely finding an object in the meal can prompt an investigation and other actions, but ultimately, some form of damage must occur.

If you were injured – as in, you broke your tooth or cracked your teeth from metal objects in a hamburger or you sliced your tongue from a piece of glass in a sandwich – you can file a claim against the eatery. It is necessary that you collect as much evidence as possible in the form of photographs, witness testimony, receipts, security camera footage, video evidence, and more. You must alert the establishment to the injury and the presence of the object. Also, pay with a credit card if possible, otherwise it will be slightly more difficult to prove you were at that particular eatery when the injury occurred.

By filing a claim, you are able to recover damages for medical expenses, such as hospitalization, surgery, reconstruction, medication, and more. These expenses can be covered for both the past and the future. Additionally, you can collect compensation for lost wages at work stemming from the need to go to the hospital, go to doctor’s appointments, or appear in court. These wages can also be covered from the past and future. Further, you can collect non-economic damages in the form of pain and suffering, or emotional damage; suffering an injury while eating at a restaurant can cause psychological scarring, as it feels like an invasion of privacy and duty in some way.

Normandie’s Promise to You
At Normandie Law Firm, we are committed to bringing you the compensation you deserve for any foreign objects found in your food. We believe that all restaurants should prioritize the health of their patrons and not expose them to dangers like metal and glass in meals. If you have found something in your food and you were hurt due to it, contact us to start filing a foreign object in food lawsuit. Our lawyers can help you sue the restaurant for your fair restitution.

FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION: Call us today to receive a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. We will answer any questions you have about the legal process and will talk with you about what to expect as your case moves forward. Our firm offers you a zero fee guarantee as well when you allow us to represent you: this means that you pay no out of pocket fees for our services, and we only take payment from the settlement we earn for you when we win your case. If we don’t manage to win, you do not owe us a cent.

Contact Normandie Law Firm to speak to a foreign object in food attorney for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

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