Visitor Question

Claim denied because restaurant couldn’t have found defect?

Submitted By: Kelly (California)

I was having lunch at a restaurant when the two front legs of my chair broke and I fell on the floor. I had an MRI which showed a hernia tigon on my spine. The restaurant’s insurance company denied my claim. They said that their expert determined there was a clean break at a welding point, and that the restaurant could not have discovered this even if they inspected the chair.

I was wondering whether they are right or not? If so, is that it? Can they just deny the claim like that? Is there anything else I can do to get restitution for my injuries and medical bills? 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 Kelly,

The restaurant is half right. All commercial restaurants have a legal “duty of care” to do everything within reason to protect their patrons from undue harm and injury. This includes regular inspections of chairs.

The question is, whether or not the restaurant knew, or should have known the chair was defective. To know whether or not they knew, or should have known will require an examination of the restaurants’ internal memos, incident reports (including the one made at or about the time of your fall), letters, restaurant literature, manufacturer recall notices, etc.

You have no legal right to see those. However, if you retain an attorney, your attorney would have a right to subpoena the documents via a “subpoena duces tecum.” Your attorney could also take the sworn depositions of employees, managers, the owner, witnesses, and even customers who may have been previously injured by the defective chairs.

A hernia tigon can be quite painful. It can cause constant aching pain on the hamstrings, quads, inner thigh muscles, and hip muscles. The injury is certainly serious enough to seek legal representation. You would be wrong to attempt to represent yourself in a case like this.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather evidence of your damages, including your medical and therapy records and bills, receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses, and written verification from your employer confirming the amount of wages you lost as a result of the injury.

Also attempt to contact any witnesses who were there at the time of your fall. Don’t forget to obtain witness statement to verify what actually happened.

Seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Choose the one who you feel most comfortable with. Not only can the attorney recover the above damages, but he or she will likely be able to recover an additional amount for your pain and suffering.

Learn more here: Broken Chair Accidents & Injuries

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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