If Ifound an industrial sized staple in my hamburger meat after I bit on it and hurt my teeth, can I sue the meat distributor?

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If Ifound an industrial sized staple in my hamburger meat after I bit on it and hurt my teeth, can I sue the meat distributor?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue all parties who had anything to do with the production and sale of the hamburger meat.  For example, the slaughterhouse, company whose name is on the package (I assume this is what you mean by distributor), and the store where you purchased the meat.

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 slaughterhouse, manufacturer/distributor, seller would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to produce a product that is not defective).

Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.

The store where you purchased the hamburger meat is liable even if it could not have known the product was defective.

When you complete your medical/dental treatment and are released by the doctor/dentist, obtain your medical/dental bills, medical/dental report and if applicable, documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the insurance carriers of the parties listed above will consist of these items. Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers.  Compensation for the medical/dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical/dental 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/dental bills.  Compenation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance companies, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  If the case is settled with all the insurance carriers, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is only settled with some, but not all the insurance carriers, only the parties wiith whom you have not settled are named as defendants in your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  If the case is not settled with any of the insurance companies, then all parties are named as defendants in your lawsuit.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitiatons or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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