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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99960
Experience:  Lawyer
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There, Recently in British Columbia I was eating a food

Customer Question

Hi there,
Recently in British Columbia I was eating a food item from a popular food chain franchise when a foreign object – looks like a bone- fractured one of my molars. The food item contained bacon which the franchise owner suspects the ‘bone’ came from their supplier who supplies all of the bacon. I live in BC Canada and the company I have been forwarded to is in the USA, as is their insurance company that I have now been directed to. On the phone, one of the representatives from the supplier company told me that it looked like a piece of rib bone from the belly and that they have people on the line that are there to find those kinds of things but sometimes they get missed. I emailed that rep to review our conversation and he has yet to respond and lay claim to his statements. In terms of the insurance company, I have been told that there is nothing they can do until the object gets analyzed by the quality control lab of the supplier company, or alternatively by the insurance company.
I’m slightly concerned about the honesty of the analytical testing as it seems biased for the company in question to do the testing. The insurance company sent me the form that I would need to sign to have their testing done and it asks me if I would like it back or for them to dispose of it. Should I choose to have it sent back I cannot use it in ANY way relating to this claim.. for further testing of my own for example. They also mentioned that they ‘should’ be able to figure out what it is and where it came from and has avoided my questioning on that wording. Am I able to cut a piece of the bone off in order to get my own testing, or does it have to be un touched? Are they obligated to give me third party unbiased testing at their cost should I request it?
I have no idea where to begin with this. My concern is that I will send away this piece that broke my tooth and they will say it didn’t come from there, or they couldn’t be sure, and by then I’ve signed a waiver saying I can’t use it any more. I have seen the on-call dentist who has noted there are new fractures within the tooth. It did have a very small white filling in it prior to the incident but I have been to the dentist for regular check-ups and the fractures are definitely new. I brought the ‘bone’ in to the dentist and they photographed it and noted that they saw the object. I’m interested in finding out what some of the legal obligations are for the supplier company and the insurance company and also for myself. Is this handled under Canadian federal law, USA Law, State law, Provincial law? Would I hire a Canadian Lawyer to represent me if I needed to? Am I entitled to compensation for pain& suffering?
I have also asked for a copy of the full analytical report once it’s complete, am I entitled to that?
Can you suggest any helpful legislations or acts that I can refer to that may be helpful with my situation? I’m willing to put in some reading time so anything would be helpful.
Thanks so kindly for the information.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I can provide you with legal information and so I can answer the bulk of your question. However, I cannot provide you case law or legislation. However, I do not believe you need that information at this point.
Let me know if you would like me to go ahead.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If you are confident that you can give me sufficient legal information that will help me. I'm especially concerned about the cross-border claim with the insurance company, please continue if you feel like you can help me, thank you!
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
The law is that you do not have to go after the supplier. Rather, it is the restaurant in BC that you would sue. They owe you a duty of care. When you sue them then they put defend the claim and bring the supplier into the lawsuit blaming them. The restaurant has insurance for these claims and so what would most likely happen is that they would offer you a settlement and then possibly sue thesupplier but that is not your concern. Canadian law would apply and you should retain a lawyer in your city to act for you. You can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25. The number is(###) ###-####or 1.***-***-****. You should not send the bone over to anyone at this point. It is likely that your own lawyer will want it analyzed by a lab in your city. At the least it is very concerning that you are supposed to agree not to allow anyone else to test it. Why would you possibly agree to that? That is highly suspect. In Canada you would be entitled to the report but I don't know the law in the US. In any event, as you now know from my answer you should be seeking damages from the restaurant and in BC only. You are entitled to any out of pocket expenses you incur plus something for pain and suffering.It may not be worth it to retain a lawyer to sue but it is worth it to retain a lawyer to send a demand letter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your helpful response,So if I deal with the restaurant in BC am I dealing with the franchise owner or the restaurant chain corporation? You mentioned the restaurant should have insurance to cover this sort of thing. If the franchise owner points me to his insurance company is that who I would deal with? Or is it his responsibility to cover the damages personally, then recover them in his own way? The restaurant chain is popular in the USA and in Canada so I’m un sure if the franchise owner would have his own Canadian insurance company as im uneducated in that. I don’t particularly want to deal with his insurance company but you also mentioned a civil case, that is where I would sue. Would I be suing the owner? and would I be suing only if the owner/insurance company refuses to pay?Who should pay me an amount for pain and suffering, and also covers all costs? Is that the owner, or the insurance company of the BC restaurant? If I were to get a letter of demand sent, would that be addressed to the owner? Are you able to give me an idea of what my damages are worth?
Also, Do I need some sort of contract with the owner in terms of him agreeing to pay? Is email correspondence enough?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm concerned that the franchise in BC will say they needto have the bone analyzed before any payment as well, then I will be in the same sort of situation
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
You won't be in the same situation because the lawyer and their lawyer can decide who is going to do the analysis if there really needs to be one.But there won't because you simply have to prove you got harmed when they served you this food. You don't care if it was the bacon or not. You are going to sue the restaurant. So you need you dental records to prove the damage and all you care about is proving there was something in your food that should not have been there and it cause the damage.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I just saw your other post.You don't have to deal with their insurance company though you can.But the bot***** *****ne is you are the one who is in charge in terms of deciding if you are going to sue and you aren't suing the insurance company. You are suing the restaurant.I cannot assess what the damages are worth. You need a lawyer to review your dental records face to face. If the owner agrees to pay you then you really just need to get the cheque but they will want you to sign a release.

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