Can I sue if I broke my tooth when eating ground beef that I bought in the supermarket?

UPDATED: Feb 24, 2014

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Can I sue if I broke my tooth when eating ground beef that I bought in the supermarket?

I was by myself when I ate it. I saved the meat packaging and the piece of bone. The tooth had had a filled cavity for about 3 years. The tooth will have to be removed and replaced by an implant. The total costs run between $4,500 and $6,000, depending on whether certain procedures become necessary (bone grafting). I have not contacted the meat company yet. The accident happened about 2 1/2 months ago but I got the estimate from the dental sergeant just last week.Can I ask the company to pay my medical bills? Is it likely that they pay? Do I have a case to sue them?

Asked on February 24, 2014 under Personal Injury, Georgia


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit against both the manufacturer and the supermarket, it may be possible to settle your personal injury claims with their insurance carriers.  Your claim filed with each insurance carrier should include your dental bills, dental reports and if applicable, documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (manufacturer and supermarket) NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with setttlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit against the party or parties with whom the case has not settled.  Your lawsuit would have separate causes of action (claims) for negligence and strict liability.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer would have exercised to produce a product that is not defective).  You have claims for negligence and strict liability against both the manufacturer and seller.  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.  The store is liable even if it could not have known that the product was defective.

If the case is NOT settled, you must file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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