Two days ago, I bought a package of apple fritters from a grocery store. My husband ate one and choked by a piece of sharp plastic. He had to pull it out of the back of his mouth. He did not go to the doctor, but told me and then showed me the plastic. We look to see if the packaging was missing a piece of plastic, thinking it may have come from there. It did not. I kept the package and the shard of plastic. I don't know what we should do, though I know we should do something. Suggestions, please?
There are two parts to an injury claim. First you must prove liability, that the other party was at fault for your injury. Even though you kept the shard, it will still boil down to your word that the shard was in the fritters. After proving liability, you must then prove damages. Since your husband did not seek medical attention, you may have a tough time showing he suffered any damages. You can contact the manufacturer and they may be willing to compensate you in some way, but based on these facts it will probably be very minor compensation.
You can sue, but in my experience these cases are difficult to prove. Jurors have a tendency to disbelieve that situations such as your husbands occur. Whether they think plaintiffs are making up the claim because they want money or because they don't want to believe it could happen to them, unless you have some irrefutable evidence that the plastic was in the fritter, your case is weak.
Additionally, and probably the biggest problem with the case is that, from your inquiry, it does not appear that your husband was physically injured by the plastic. In order to prove negligence you have to show some kind of damages, either physical or emotional. You should consult with a personal injury attorney in your area. Most PI attorneys will provide a free consultation. Only by meeting with an attorney and discussing the case and the evidence in full will you be able to get an adequate analysis of your case. If no attorneys will take your case, that is usually a good indication that your case is not worth pursuing.
Mr. Straight and Mr Lamborn have given good answers. Yes, Texas has recognized defective packaging and foreign objects as viable product liability claims. However, you must have suffered an injury consistent with the defect and serious enough to justify the expense of a suit. Mental anguish alone is not going to work. Manufacturers know that product suits are expensive. Manufacturers also are reluctant for a settlement to be viewed as an admission of a problem with their product. I agree that if you contact the customer service folks, they may offer you some form of compensation. I'm glad your husband avoided serious injury.
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