Better restaurants will give you a deal if this happens. It is disgusting, it is not a pleasant experience, and a good restaurant will work with you. But, if you order food, yes you have to pay for it.
In any case in which you’re claiming negligence, four elements must be established: (1) duty (2) breach of that duty (3) causation of harm, and (4) damages.
I’m assuming you have duty and breach of duty here. However, without any significant damages, there’s no case. You must have all four elements.
Legal purists can correctly point out that I’ve simplified the analysis. However, this is an accurate summary and this format doesn’t have room for the volumes that have been written on the breakdown of causation, the two places in which we can plug in foreseeability, and other issues.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.
Since Madison Hts. is in Oakland County, you should call the Oakland County Health Department, to file a complaint. They will also tell you whether the restaurant has been cited for previous health violations. I would also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Unfortunately, bugs, although unpleasant and gross in food, commonly find their way into lettuce and other naturally grown salad items. Washing the salad would get rid of residual dirt, sand and the occasional bugs. The fact that the bug was in your salad shows me that the restaurant did not rinse the salad before giving it to you. This shows a cavalier attitude about the quality of food they serve and lack of respect for their customers.
Most restaurant owners and servers would be very embarrassed by serving a customer food with a bug in it, and would comp you the meal, or at least the salad. The reaction you received reflects badly on the restaurant, and you should let your friends know of the experience. Also, there may be a website that ranks restaurants in Madison Heights, and you can participate in their quality survey.
I do not see that you have cause for a lawsuit, but you do have cause to be disgusted, offended, and angry at the experience and your treatment.
Do note that I do not practice in your state. I agree with the other responses by reporting this establishment to the local health department, BBB and perhaps to the news media. Frankly, if it was me I would not pay for the food. If you did (and charged it using a credit card), you should file a dispute over the entire bill once your billing statement arrives. It is called a goods and services dispute. Good Luck
Evan in FLA
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