If I work at a grocery store that also sells food from a “hot bar” and on my lunch I got a pasta with olives in it but chipped my tooth on it and now have a chunk of my tooth missing, can I sue?

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If I work at a grocery store that also sells food from a “hot bar” and on my lunch I got a pasta with olives in it but chipped my tooth on it and now have a chunk of my tooth missing, can I sue?

Or at least get my tooth fixed. I have a piece of what ever it was?

Asked on September 14, 2015 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The store would only have to pay for your tooth if it were "at fault" in some way, such as by having some hard foreign substances e.g. a rock or a piece of plastic or metal in the pasta--something that did not belong there and caused the injury. But an olive is food, and is not uncommon in pasta there is nothing negligent or careless about having an olive in pasta. There is also nothing negligent about food from one part of the "hot bar" getting into a another part--that is a common part of such salad and hot bars, and so there is no fault to the store if an olive from a different tray or dish made it into your pasta. Therefore, it is very unlikely that you would win if you sued it is unfortunate or unlucky that you chipped your tooth, but people have accidents or get injured all the time without anyone being at fault and without any right to monetary compensation only if the store were at fault, which generally means having a foreign object in the food, would they typically be liable.


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