Visitor Question

Sliced hand while opening a defective jar…

Submitted By: Rob (Richmond, VA, USA)

I just wanted to share something that happened to my wife last night. She was opening a jar of chicken marsala when the jar broke and sliced open her hand. We rushed her to the emergency room where she required 15 stitches to close the wound.

The weird thing is that the jar broke in half while she was opening it. She tried to turn the lid on the jar and it did not actually turn. The jar just broke in half. It did not shatter, it is just in two pieces with the lid still on. She was not applying any real pressure to the jar, it just snapped in half.

Is there any legal recourse that we can pursue here? She has 15 stitches and a huge wrap on her hand. She is also in quite a bit of pain from the incident. Please let me know what you can. 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.


Dear Rob,

Contact the retail food store where the jar was originally purchased. Concurrently contact the manufacturer of the chicken marsala. Explain exactly what happened. Tell them you want to speak with someone who is able to authorize compensation for the medical costs and related bills associated with your wife’s serious injury.

The contact should preferably be made by a letter, sent Certified Return Receipt Requested. This may help as an example:

========================= Dear Sir/Madam:

On ____, 2011 while my wife was attempting to open a jar of your Chicken Marsala the jar broke in half, severing her hand. We rushed to the emergency room. There she required 15 stitches.

As a direct result we have incurred substantial medical bills. Although we aren’t sure yet, she may require additional plastic surgery.

We would like to settle this matter amicably.

Would you please contact us at the above address.

Thank you.


Your name & contact information =========================

Hopefully this letter will elicit a response. Give it at least 3 weeks. If by that time you haven’t heard from either of them, you should consider taking legal action, either in the form of a Small Claims lawsuit, or through a Personal Injury Attorney.

In the State of Virginia the maximum Small Claims amount one can sue for is $5,000.00 dollars. If you believe your wife’s injuries, resulting medical bills and related expenses will be more than $5,000.00 dollars you should consider consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney.

Learn more here: Food-Related Injury Claims

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,


2 thoughts on “Sliced hand while opening a defective jar…

  1. Shawn says:

    What brand was this? I just did the same thing opening a jar of Ragu. The entire top of the jar separated and sliced through my hand. Cut artery & 17 stitches. Pretty alarming. I will probably never feel safe opening a jar again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Just to let you know I had the same thing happen to me but in a grocery store. I picked a jam jar off the shelf and it broke in two pieces. One in the cart and the other in my hand. After three surgeries to fix the loss of feeling and pain in hand, I am still in a lawsuit 13 years later.

    I recommend that you get legal advise due to the onset of further problems with her hand. Hopefully she did not damage any nerves like I did. Wish you all the best.

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