What to do about a worm in my almonds?

I purchased almonds from a grocery store. This morning while eating some almonds, I noticed movement in the almonds. After examining the almonds closely it contained a worm. It made me sick to my stomach and spit out what was in my mouth. I took the almonds and worm back to the store. What is the liability issue from the store to me to insure my health? The manager stated they will look into the matter and I will hear from the almond company today.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Both the manufacturer of the almonds and the store where you purchased the almonds are liable.  Liability is based on both negligence and strict liability.  Negligence on the part of the manufacturer is the failure to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.  Due care is that degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm.  The  store (seller of the defective product) is liable even if it could not  have known the product was defective.

Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.  Before filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and store for negligence and strict liability, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and store.  If you require medical treatment, when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claims against the manufacturer and store will consist of these items. Your personal injury claims should be filed with their insurance carriers. Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from either or both insurance carriers (manufacturer and store), reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  If the case is settled with both insurance companies (manufacturer and store), NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is settled with one of the insurance companies, but not the other, then only name the defendant (store or manufacturer) in your lawsuit with whom the case has not been settled.  If the case is not settled with either insurance company, name both defendants (manufacturer and store) in your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance companies, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If you don't need any medical treatment, you won't recover much in the case.


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