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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I walked into a restaurant I have eaten at years with

Customer Question

I walked into a restaurant I have eaten at for many years with my niece and her young daughter. Everything was pleasant before the meal, including the waiter. Then the last bite of my meal, I bit down on a metal bolt. My niece watched me take it out of my mouth and was horrified. Instead of causing a scene, I decided to be discreet and took the waiter aside to tell him what happened, in the hallway next to the bathroom. He asked to see the bolt as I was holding it in my hand, I said let me rinse off the food right here in the ladies bathroom, I didn't want to place something that came from my mouth directly into his hand.. I opened the door, with him standing there, rinsed it in the sink and handed it to him. He looked at it then called another waitress over and she couldn't believe it, then took the bolt from our waiter towards the kitchen. A few minutes later a man in khaki shorts and a tshirt holding a to go cup approaches the table and says "Im not accusing you of lying but I need to know what happened, we don't have anything like this in our kitchen" I said my only guess would be the bowl of pinto beans I was eating with my fajitas and tacos, or possibly in the meat slices I don't know. He stated he was sorry and that he was going to take care of the bill and look into the situation. I politely said thank you. As he walked off I asked another waitress would it just be ok to leave the tip money on the table since the man who talked with us was taking care of the bill. She said yes no problem. My niece had quit eating her meal and left the togo box on the table not wanting to chance her or her young daughter eating anything with metal in it. As we were walking to the car, a older Hispanic female comes walking towards us saying "Ladies, Ladies!" Why didn't you pay your bill? I said the man in the restaurant stated he would take care of the bill. She said "No he did not, he said he would take care of your meal, what about her?" I said she quit eating after I took that bolt out of my mouth in front of her and didn't let her daughter touch the rest of her food. Even after she put it in a togo box, she left it there. The lady said "Well we found this other metal piece in the bathroom that looks like it goes together and if you girls run scams like this often, it really isn't right!" I told her she was out of line and that I swore on my life that metal bolt came from my mouth from your food. She said" Well you were in the bathroom" Yes mam, in front of your waiter as a matter of fact and I rinsed the bolt in front of him. I could have caused a scene but I didn't I pulled him aside in front of the bathrooms. Well" you obviously do this often, and I should call the police for her not paying for her taco meal. But I wasn't there when it happened so you ladies have a nice day. I left and my boyfriend called and asked when the owner would be there, they stated 430p, her name is ***** ***** down on that bolt hurt even though I didn't make a fuss about it. I was embarrassed and upset that she was accusing me of putting a metal bolt from somewhere in my food. I wasn't carrying a purse or wearing anything with pockets and instead of taking responsibility they were accusatory. Do I have a case? I have eaten at this establishment for 7 years and this is how I was treated. They kept the bolt. I don't like being accused of lying and I don't agree with how this restaurant handled the situation, especially this hostess causing a scene in the parking lot. It also worries me that if that piece did come from a restroom, I hope im not susceptible to getting ecoli, staph or some other bacteria...
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.
Are you wanting to sue for the bolt or the way you were treated by the waitress? What are your goals in this situation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I would like fair compensation for how I was treated and yes I did bite down on the bolt and have throbbing pain on left side of teeth
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She even threatened to call the police on me stating I was running a scam..other people saw her behavior and how I handled everything
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 2 years ago.
OK. First to deal with the hostess and the way you were treated. That is going to be a very difficult case to win. There are only very rare circumstances where a person can be sued solely based on words. Here, she may have made a false accusation, but in the end it didn't cause you any harm past the feelings it caused. Simply put, that doesn't make for a very good lawsuit.
The bolt, on the other hand, does. There, the restaurant was clearly negligent, and their negligence caused you physical pain. The fact that the bolt was in your food alone proves negligence. Of course, they will defend on the grounds that you are basically making the thing up. It will come down to what they can prove since you have several witnesses (your family, the waitress you brought it to first, etc.). Now, the concern I have is that you gave up the main piece of evidence in the case - the bolt. If possible, you should go back and request that they give it back to you. If they won't, have them put it in writing why they won't give it to you. That could potentially be evidence even if you never get the bolt back. All that is to say that the bolt in the food is something that's actionable. The question for you is whether you can prove it.
I hope that answers your question. If not, feel free to ask follow up questions. If so, please remember to "Rate" my answer before you go. Good luck.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What if they refuse to give me the bolt or put anything in writing, could I legally videotape going in there requesting it with my phone?
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 2 years ago.
Sure. You don't have to have a person's consent to video them in a public place. The reason it's important to memoralize their reasoning is that if a judge were to find that they intentionally withheld or destroyed evidence, the judge can assume that the evidence would have been bad for them (it's called "spoliation").
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I went to the restaurant and my boyfriend voice recorded a talk I had with the owner, who admitted to freaking out and also telling me that she had the bolt( the bolt I had found in my food) but didnt know where it was at the moment. I asked her if I could have it, she repeated she didnt know where it was, I asked if I could get that in writing she asked me to come back tomorrow and she would leave it with another employee. I do not know if she was just brushing me off to get rid of me or not. She did catch on to my boyfriend recording things with his phone at another table because another employee alerted her that he was with me..possibly recognizing him from a previous dinner visit because we didnt walk in together. When she realized she was possibly being recorded she brushed me off and I told her I would come back for the paper, she said thats fine. If I dont get that paper will the video hold up in court? I didnt let her know she was being recorded.
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the video will hold up. You don't need her consent to record in a public place. It is good that she admitted that she still had it and hadn't thrown it away. After you get it from her (or a letter from her confirming that she got rid of it/can't find it), you need to contact a lawyer, who will in turn send a demand letter and get the litigation process started.
I hope that answers your question. If so, please "rate" my answer before you go (that's how I get credit for my work).