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Is there a case - found foreign matter in a bottle of Califarms Coconut water?

Columbus, OH |

I purchased a few bottles of Califarms coconut water yesterday from a local grocery store. The bottle was completely sealed and appeared to be untampered with. I drank about half of the bottle when I noticed a glob of something floating in the was about 1/2 inch in diameter. I poured out the glob in the sink to identify, upon picking it up with a paper towel, it looked like mucous. I've been sick ever since drinking it...I'm more worried about what I've consumed, but wondered if it would be worth pursuing a case. Also, the other bottles do not contain whatever was in this bottle.

Attorney Answers 3


The first, and last time I ever drank coco-water it had globs of stuff in it and I was told that is the way it is, and I've seen other people drink it and love it. That aside, your post does not describe severe harm or damage meriting legal recovery to you, and so you have little or no case.

Here's why. Every injury case must include liability; that someone did something that is considered negligent. The case also requires damages that were caused by that negligence. Bodily injury damages must be established with medical treatment records. To be compensable, an injury must have required medical treatment. The medical records document that the injury occurred and the fact of medical treatment.

Emotional distress damages are talked about but are rarely awarded absent physical manifestations related to the emotional distress, again, documented in medical records. The exception is where there is something called “outrage”. But, having read many cases in this area of the law my opinion is that this does not apply in the scenario you have given. In one published case people found a used "band-aid" in Chinese take-out food, and the court refused to allow damages for “outrage”.

You might have a contract claim for the price of the item. Sometimes companies offer coupons for more of the same, or some other product that they make.

Food poisining claims that I have handled include severe damages including hospitalization and most often, health department or other testing of the food to identify the harmful agent.

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Yes you may well be entitled to compensation for your injurie. It sounds like you have damages. Immediately consult with a doctor. Please feel free to call me. 404 989 3423 and I will be glad to speak with you about your options.

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First you need a diagnosis that you are actually sick and have suffered some sort of harm, then you need to have other bottle of coconut water analyzed. If you have some evidence then go ahead and approach a lawyer but don't be surprised if they are not interested unless you have suffered serious damages.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society.

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