OK this will be a lessan in Common Sense 101. Lesson #1: How can you expect any attorney to answer whether or not you should sign this "affidavit" unless and until they review it??? Lesson #2: Don't EVER sign a legal document of any kind without first having your attorney review it. Spend the money. Get the review. This reminds me of a great Fram oil filter commercial of long ago, where the guy says: "You can pay me now (for the filter).....or you can pay me later (for the repairs because you didn't use a Fram oil filter)". Good luck!
Suing over this would be a huge waste of time and effort, especially since Amscot offers free money orders, so why buy them? Additionally, no attorney would take this case.
First get roughly $3,000 to $5,000 together, because no attorney is going to take a case of this type unless it’s on an hourly fee basis. No one will take it on a contingency fee basis. I’m only stating the reality of the matter.
I actually noticed the same thing you did with them, and it seems like a clear case of deceptive advertising. But I’m not sure it would be worth pursuing unless you could get a plaintiffs class action attorney interested. Because standing alone, your damages are only $3. In addition, once you discover their little scam, you could have just canceled your order. But see how some other attorneys respond to this before you do anything about it.
With that amount of money involved, this is not something to do “on the cheap,” so bring your contract to a real estate lawyer yesterday.
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that no attorney is going to be able to give you precise advice about this without first reviewing the contract you signed with your attorney. The good news is that your contract with your attorney will determine what is going to happen in this situation. So either read your contract very carefully and you will get your answers, or take the contract to another attorney to interpret for you. Good luck.
Hire a lawyer to write a strong “pushback” letter putting them on notice that you intend to put up a fight. I’m betting that’s all you’ll need to convince them to settle for your deposit.
Hopefully you have a written contract. If you do, then the terms of that contract will control what will happen under these circumstances.
Unfortunately, you hit the nail on the head: Don't EVER sign ANYTHING without reading it from beginning to end. And if you read it but don't have a clue what it really means, then take it to an attorney to decipher the mysterious language. I obviously haven't reviewed your contract, but just going on what you stated, it would seem that you're on the hook for $7K. You could most probably get it discharged (meaning it "goes away") in bankruptcy, but unless you have a bunch of other debt, bankruptcy for you would be like using a hammer to kill a mosquito. Still, take the document to a "live" attorney and have it analyzed. Perhaps there will be an escape hatch buried in there somewhere. I doubt it, but getting it checked out will make you certain if there is or not. Good luck!
The other attorneys who answered missed some important issues. First of all, how can you be sure it was a human tooth? If you have any dogs in the house, check to make sure none of them is missing a tooth. Secondly, are you positive that it wasn't YOUR tooth? And lastly, make sure that the restaurant isn't running a promotion. For example, whoever recovers the manager's tooth wins a free family cruise. This case needs a whole lot more investigation before you can move forward.