What to do if my girlfriend broke a tooth after biting down on a candy?

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What to do if my girlfriend broke a tooth after biting down on a candy?

My girlfriend bit into an Almond Roca two days ago (Saturday) and broke about 3/4 of a tooth. We collected the wrapper and candy she had spit out with a lot of blood, and stored in sandwich bag. I sent an email to the company next. Today, they called me first thing in the morning. They wanted to know the serial number of the can, and they are also sending me a bag for me to use in sending everything I collected back to them. They will have their Q.A. Dept take a look at it and then it goes to their insurance company. I understand they need to see what the hard substance was that caused her broken tooth but I also am not comfortable just giving them the sample because then it would be gone and could be my word against them.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, be aware that the candy company would only be liable if the candy were defective in some way--manufactured incorrectly, contained some foreign matter (e.g. a rock), etc. If the candy was perfectly ok and it just happened that your girlfriend's tooth broke when biting into it, the company is not liable--they did nothing wrong. (The same way if someone happens to choke on a chicken wing you cooked, you are not very likely not liable for their injuries.)

You basically have two choices: submit the candy and see if they offer you anything; or refuse to submit it, demand compensation, and if they won't provide any, sue them. Suing them will cost money, does not guaranty success, and your girlfriend can only recover an amount equal to her medical costs, lost wages, and possible a very small amount for pain and suffering. If she has had fairly low out-of-pocket costs (e.g. health insurance has picked up her main expenses), it would likely not be worthwhile to sue.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, be aware that the candy company would only be liable if the candy were defective in some way--manufactured incorrectly, contained some foreign matter (e.g. a rock), etc. If the candy was perfectly ok and it just happened that your girlfriend's tooth broke when biting into it, the company is not liable--they did nothing wrong. (The same way if someone happens to choke on a chicken wing you cooked, you are not very likely not liable for their injuries.)

You basically have two choices: submit the candy and see if they offer you anything; or refuse to submit it, demand compensation, and if they won't provide any, sue them. Suing them will cost money, does not guaranty success, and your girlfriend can only recover an amount equal to her medical costs, lost wages, and possible a very small amount for pain and suffering. If she has had fairly low out-of-pocket costs (e.g. health insurance has picked up her main expenses), it would likely not be worthwhile to sue.


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