Liability for large piece of plastic found in "Ready to Eat" salad?

by Joe
(Fort Lauderdale FL)

A week ago I bought a couple ready to eat salads from a major chain supermarket by my home. It was a store brand product. So while eating it, at almost the end as I was swallowing some food, I felt that something wasn't right. I found it was a 1 inch by 1/2 inch piece of heavy plastic in an L shape. As I was swallowing I started to choke, but I got it out before doing any real damage.

My question is, what should I do? Is there a case? I think I got lucky but this is still a very dangerous thing if their food has these large pieces of plastic in it? What can be done? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Liability for large piece of plastic found in "Ready to Eat" salad?":

Joe (Fort Lauderdale FL):

Hopefully you reported the incident to the store at or about the time you almost swallowed the plastic. If so, the store manager may have created a report which would include your name, address, and the details of your injury.

If you did not report the incident you may have great difficulty convincing the store they are responsible for the plastic being in the salad container. A week is a long time to wait to report such an incident. As each day passed your credibility lessened.

The controlling factor in this incident is the absence of injury. Fortunately, the only injury you sustained was momentary choking. While there is no excuse for this, the point is, you really weren’t injured. Your anxiety, astonishment, and anger, while real, are not sufficient to support a personal injury claim.

If you did report the incident, the store may offer you an apology, a free meal, or something else relatively meaningless. Certainly, your having reported the incident, whether at or about the time it occurred, or even a week later, may help to cause the store to be more careful in its food preparation.

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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