Visitor Question

Fell on a chopstick…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My mom went to pick up a to go order from a restaurant When she was walking out with the food, she did not see a chopstick on the tile floor and stepped on it. She was wearing heels and she fell down, but fell forward so she landed on her knees and also hurt her back.

After she fell down, one of the servers brought out the check again because they over charged her. My mom complained that she fell because of the chopstick and they said it is not their fault because kids at the restaurant threw them there. Two customers from the restaurant saw and helped her walk to the car.

The restaurant is saying that they aren’t responsible for her injury. Is that true? Everyone is telling me that the restaurant needs to pay for her treatment. How do I establish liability here and get them to pay for her medical treatment? Any information you can give would be appreciated. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Your mother is in a difficult position. While the restaurant had a legal duty of care to keep their premises safe for patrons, that duty is a reasonable one. If the chopstick was the only item on the floor, and the floor was otherwise relatively clean, then the store probably can’t be considered negligent.

Patrons know when they go to restaurants, especially take out ones, there is always a chance there may be something on the floor.

That doesn’t means the restaurant shouldn’t have to pay your mom’s medical bills. It means the restaurant may not have been negligent in permitting the one chopstick to remain on the floor. The restaurant probably has insurance to cover such events. That would be insurance akin to homeowners insurance, except for businesses.

Before asking the restaurant to pay for your mother’s medical bills, be sure she knows exactly what her injuries are and the medical treatment which will be required. Contact the restaurant owner and tell them as a result of the fall your mother was injured and required medical treatment.

Ask the restaurant owner to refer the claim to her insurance company. If the restaurant refuses, and your mother’s injuries are serious, then contact several personal injury attorneys in your area. Serious injuries can include fractures, deep cuts or gashes requiring many stitches, head trauma, and the like.

If your mother’s injuries are “soft tissue,” then she can probably handle the injury claim herself. Soft tissue injuries include sprains to tendons, ligaments, and muscle, minor cuts and abrasions, and the like.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 10, 2015

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