If a person with a bee allergy finds a bee in their food at a restaurant, is that a potential lawsuit?

My family and I ate at a restaurant yesterday and my wet burrito had a bee in it.
I bit down on it and felt a something sharp in my mouth, and spit it out
immediately. The manager of the restaurant comped my meal, but later that day,
my mouth was swollen and today it is very sore. I have been stung in the past and
am allergic to bee stings. Do I have a potential lawsuit here? I didn’t get any
pictures of the bee on the plate, but the restaurant said they were having a
problem with bees, and even noted on the check that the bee was the reason I was
compensated, so it’s in their records.

Asked on October 9, 2017 under Personal Injury, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, based on what you write, you do not have a viable lawsuit.
First, regardless of liability, being "very sore" (for presumably, a few days at most) would not entitle you to any compensation: it does not rise to the level of life impairment (in terms of severity or duration) that would entilte you to "pain and suffering" compensation. If you went to an emergency room, you might get compensation for any out of pocket costs in a lawsuit, but that's it. The injury you describe is not one that supports any appreciable compensation.
Second, it is unlikely that they are liable in any event: you'd have to show that they were unreasonably careless in some way in allowing the bee into your food--if the bee simply flew in when no one was looking, that is not the sort of lack of care that would let you hold them liable. They are only liable to the extent they did something wrong, and not merely because something occured at their restaurant.

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