My son ate at a restaurant and swallowed a piece of a grill brush. He had to have a specialist remove the wire as it was caught at the back of his throat. Can we ask the restaurant to pay for medical expenses? ER visit, X-rays and the specialist?
Yes you can---but the smartermmove would be a NE personal injury attorney IMMEDIATELY. There maybe costs and damages that are longer term and exceed the ER visit, X-rays and specialist.
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You likely do. And you maybe entitled to more than mere medical bills. Consult local personal injury counsel for further clarity.
I'm a Nebraska lawyer. I'm actually from Bertrand, so I have been to Kearney about 1000 times.
Under Nebraska law, there is strict liability for foreign objects in food. You can certainly ask for then to pay your medical bills - that's at a minimum - and then any additional damages that were sustained. There's no excuse for things like this happening, but it happens all the time.
The fact that you found a foreign object in your food doesn’t mean you have a case worth pursuing. To merit a lawsuit a case must have liability and damages. Liability essentially means someone is somehow legally responsible for an act or omission. In the case of finding a foreign object in your food from a restaurant the liability depends on what the foreign object is. If you find an object normally found in that food (fish bone in fish sandwich, olive with pit in salad, etc.) these aren’t really foreign objects.
Finding a metal lettuce bag tie in your salad is different. A foreign object? Yes. Not something you expect to find. There may anyone in the chain of processing/distribution that may be responsible. Was it the restaurant, the wholesaler that sold them the salad, the packaging company that sold the salad to the warehouse, or the place that chopped or mixed the salad? Who was responsible for the metal bag tie being in there?
There were probably other contaminated foods sold by this restaurant or retail outlet. The contamination/infestation likely occurred during food preparation, processing or packaging. The responsible party could be located in a city far away from where you bought the food. That food producer has a strong interest in making this situation right, as well as the food producer’s insurance company. Everyone involved would like this matter to go away and avoid the costs and ADVERSE PUBLICITY inherent to claims of this nature. Don’t give up so easily and consult in person with an attorney. They probably won’t charge for an initial consultation and you may meet an attorney you feel comfortable sending your family and friends to when they need an attorney (car accident, slip and fall, etc.).
The issue in food contamination cases is whether or not you have sufficient damages to justify the time and expense involved in pursuing a lawsuit. The answer might be different if you had swallowed the piece of metal and had to be rushed to the hospital to have surgery, missed work, incurred medical expenses, etc. Foreign objects in food cases have to have two elements to be worth pursuing; 1) Liability and 2) Damages. If either are missing or too hard to prove then the case isn’t worth pursuing.
Consumer statutes and regulations shouldn’t be, but sometimes are, a complicated area of law. More information is needed and you should immediately consult with an experienced consumer law attorney in your area.
State Laws provide a wealth of consumer protection remedies, including injunctions, rescission, damages, and penalties, in favor of consumers of new and used consumer products and services. You should gather all relevant documents and medical records and consult with an AVVO attorney in your area. If you require some counseling because of this traumatic event, that would also add to your damage claim. More information and investigation is needed.
Personal Injury cases are difficult and expensive cases to pursue. It requires an attorney who is well versed in this area of law and has the money to fund the litigation. The cases are usually prosecuted on a contingency basis (the attorney receives a percentage of any settlement). The attorney also advances litigation costs, which may be significant, and sometimes deducted from settlement proceeds.
You may want to contact your local Law School and see if they have a Community Legal Aid Clinic, staffed by Law Students but supervised by licensed attorneys. Legal Aid offices sometimes have “self-help” departments staffed by clerks or paralegals to assist the general public with the selection, completion and filing of Personal Injury related forms. These individuals are knowledgeable in Personal Injury issues. They may or may not give you legal advice specific to your case, but they will give you practical advice on how best to proceed, what forms to file, and anticipated time frames involved. But for best results search AVVO and consult with a Personal Injury attorney
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