Visitor Question

Can I sue if I found a foreign object in my food?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

While eating a bowl of frozen salad I had prepared, I bit down on a piece of hard plastic which I believe was in a can of pineapple tidbits that was one of the ingredients.

I had recently been to my dentist & had a filling put in, so by biting into this foreign object it really hurt & scared me. As a result, now I am afraid to bite into food for fear of this happening again. I am a sufferer of anxiety disorder & this incident has only made it worse. Do I have a case? Thanks.

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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

While your anxiety caused by biting down on a hard piece of plastic is understandable, it is not legally actionable. To have the grounds of a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the salad and/or the store which sold the salad to you will require you to show the following:

  1. The manufacturer of the salad and/or the store which sold the salad to you had a legal duty to do everything within reason to assure the salad was safe and would not cause undue harm or injury to those who consumed the salad.
  2. The manufacturer breached that duty by selling you a salad which was tainted by a piece of plastic. The breach is referred to as the manufacturer’s negligence.
  3. You were injured by the piece of plastic.
  4. The plastic was the direct and proximate cause of your injury to the exclusion of other causes.
  5. The injury caused you to suffer “damages,” which can include medical or dental bills, out-of-pocket expenses relating to your treatment, lost wages (if you had to miss work while recovering), and pain and suffering.
  6. The piece of plastic caused your anxiety to be significantly exacerbated.

To prove your anxiety disorder was exacerbated by the piece of plastic will require a medical (psychiatric) and/or psychological narrative from a licensed psychiatrist of psychologist. That will be your starting point.

Learn more here: Injuries from Contaminated Food

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 with your claim.

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