Liability for a broken tooth from foreign objects in frozen yogurt?

by Carol
(Walaka FL, Putnam FL)

I was eating a Publix supermarket espresso chip frozen yogurt and felt a hard object in my mouth. I pulled out pieces of hard plastic and found several other pieces in my bowl. I retained the pieces without washing and wrapped them in a paper towel. I still have the remaining carton.

I called Publix to warn them since they wouldn't want a child choking on it. The manager just asked for the Lot number. I had a chipped molar and now it's pretty much gone from biting down on these pieces.

Is Publix responsible for my tooth? I'm really concerned about others having this same problem. My tooth is also hurting a lot. What can I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Liability for a broken tooth from foreign objects in frozen yogurt?":

Carol (Walaka FL, Putnam FL):

Yes, Publix should be liable for your dental injuries and incidental damages. You may have an additional claim against the manufacturer of the frozen yogurt, if different than Publix. Hold on to the name of the frozen yogurt carton, and write down the manager’s name and contact information.

Contact the manager, and tell her you sustained dental injuries resulting from the plastic shards. Hopefully, the manager created a form of “incident report” and submitted it to the Publix Corporate Office, or to Publix's insurance company. If so, there will be a record of your injury.

You shouldn't wait for Publix to respond before seeking dental treatment. Make sure you ask the dentist for copies of your dental chart.

Keep copies of the dental bills as well. If you had to miss work to seek treatment, or while you were recovering, ask your employer for written verification of the days you missed and the amount of wages you lost. You also have a right to compensation for your pain and suffering.

Hopefully Publix will cooperate and do the right thing. Their insurance company should reimburse you for your dental bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, lost wages and your pain and suffering.

Additionally, write to the manufacturer. Inform them about your injury and ask them to refer you to their insurance company. You will have a stronger case if Publix will cooperate.

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,

Judge Calisi

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