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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 118718
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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On August 4th, 2015, I bit down on a piece of bone matter

Customer Question

On August 4th, 2015, I bit down on a piece of bone matter (still attached to a piece of beef) in my Demoulas Market Basket Soup. The bone loosened my tooth and a few days later the gum area became inflamed and then developed an abscess. I contacted Demoulas Market Basket to inform them of the incident and my necessity to see the Dentist. (I was prescribed penicillin by my Doctor for the swelling and pain.) Demoulas handed the issue over to Phoenix Foods, Phoenix Foods handed it to Hanover Foods, and Hanover Foods handed it over to G.M.A. (Grocery Manufacturers Assoc.). I sent Hanover Foods, Certified Return Receipt, the bone matter and a copy of the Demoulas Market Basket Vegetable Soup label w/ the numbers on the bottom of the can. I received a letter from G.M.A. Saturday, December 19, 2015, stating that they believe that my periodontitis and loose tooth (the tooth along with the other tooth next to it were both extracted by the Dentist on August 18, 2015) was not caused by the object in the soup, and that they would send me $500.00 to settle this as their goodwill gesture. I have not seen the Dentist consistently during the past few years, so I have no proof that the tooth was loose before I bite the bone. My logic is that, if it not for their BONE IN MY DEMOULAS MARKET BASKET VEGETABLE SOUP, my tooth would still be in my head!
I intend to see an attorney in my area, Portland, Maine, but I would like your opinion on what kind of ground I'm standing on to win my case. Thank you. Joyce
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The preparer of food products is strictly liable for any defects in the food and for any damages that occur as a result of someone eating that food under product liability law. They would be liable for paying for all of the medical care and also the pain and suffering. Your dentist would need to be able to testify to a "reasonable degree of medical certainty" that the tooth damage was a result of biting down on something hard. Your case will depend on the dentist's testimony about this and your testimony that you had no dental issues until you bit on the bone. Generally, because the value of this case is not going to be unreasonably high and it will cost them more money to hire an attorney and go to court, they will seek to settle.
Typically, on a case like this, the damages are going to be your total dental costs plus usually an amount equal to those costs for pain and suffering, which is provided for under product liability law.