Consumed tiny glass fragments on a sandwich's rye bread...
(Ewa beach, Hawaii)
I recently bought a pastrami sandwich from a convenience store. It wasn't until a couple bites in that I noticed biting something hard. I spat it out and then looked at my remaining uneaten sandwich and noticed tiny blue strips of what I think was glass or hard plastic. It looked like the broken glass was mixed and baked into the rye bread, rather than it falling on the sandwich.
Ever since then, I never eat sandwiches anymore and everything I eat now, I must inspect and then inspect again to make sure no foreign objects are there. And even when I'm chewing my food, I must feel with my tongue for foreign objects. As a result, it takes me longer to consume food nowadays and I will never eat sandwiches again!
I went to the ER and they took chest x-rays to find some debris, but no foreign objects could be detected. I'm thinking it's because it was tiny dust-like hair glass shavings. Regardless, I am still traumatized by this incident and its been a week now since it happened.
Because of the situation that occurred I have an ER visit bill, along with a lot of emotional distress, and I'm mentally and traumatically drained. I have pictures of the rye bread with glass shavings, as well as a picture of the sandwich container.
They are investigating but I want them to take my emotional traumatic stress away...please let me know if I have a case and if you know where I can look online for similar cases? What can/should I do to build my case? Thank you for your time and aloha!
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ANSWER for "Consumed tiny glass fragments on a sandwich's rye bread...":
Michael (Ewa beach, Hawaii):
While the circumstances of the event are indeed unfortunate, thankfully you sustained no physical injuries.
Your emotional distress and mental anguish are real. However, to have the slightest chance of prevailing in a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the sandwich store owner, you will have to have medical proof the foreign object found in your sandwich was the direct and proximate cause of your emotional distress and mental anguish.
That will require a written medical narrative from a psychiatrist or psychologist directly linking your emotional distress and mental anguish to the trauma of finding the foreign object in your sandwich. Unfortunately, those written narratives will be very difficult to come by.
Hopefully, at the time of the incident you notified the sandwich store owner, manager or an employee, and a written incident report was created. The incident report will contain information about the incident and will confirm the link between finding the foreign object in your sandwich and the store’s awareness of the event.
It was entirely reasonable for you to have visited the emergency room to determine if the ingestion of the foreign object, or even a part of it, was harmful in any way. Additionally, if you had to take a day off from work to spend time in the emergency room, it is arguable the sandwich store also owes you the wages representing that time off.
Contact the store owner or manager and make clear that as a result of finding the foreign object in your sandwich you incurred medical bills and lost wages (if applicable). Ask to reimbursed for those costs. Absent a medical narrative linking the foreign object to your emotional distress, that's about all you can hope to receive.
However, it is also possible the store owner may refer the incident to his (or her) insurance company. If so, the insurance company may be contacting you soon. If they do, you can certainly ask for reimbursement for the emergency room costs and lost wages, and an additional amount to compensate you for your emotional distress.
Whether they will agree to compensate you for those additional losses without medical proof is unlikely.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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