+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: broken tooth

  1. #1
    dmyokum is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6

    Exclamation broken tooth

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    While eating a hamburger at Sonic I bit into a bone or something hard in the burger and broke my tooth. The replacement will be $1,028.00. Can I expect the Sonic to pay for it? At the time it happened, I told the manager and got her business card. She said to let them know what they could do. I went directly to my dentist. He took pictures of the broken tooth and gave me the estimate to fix it. Before I call Sonic, I want to have liability information at hand.
    Thanks,
    dm
    Last edited by dmyokum; 09-04-2008 at 04:02 PM. Reason: to get more attention
  2. #2
    dmyokum is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6

    Exclamation Broken Tooth Second Request

    Quote Originally Posted by dmyokum View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    While eating a hamburger at Sonic I bit into a bone or something hard in the burger and broke my tooth. The replacement will be $1,028.00. Can I expect the Sonic to pay for it? At the time it happened, I told the manager and got her business card. She said to let them know what they could do. I went directly to my dentist. He took pictures of the broken tooth and gave me the estimate to fix it. Before I call Sonic, I want to have liability information at hand.
    Thanks,
    dm
    I posted this yesterday in hopes of getting my ducks in a row before I called the restaurant. Anyone knowledgeable about liability here?

    Thanks,
    dm
  3. #3
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    54,570
    Talk to Sonic...
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    35,613
    Did you save the burger so you could have documented evidence of what you bit into?
  5. #5
    dmyokum is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6

    Broken tooth

    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Did you save the burger so you could have documented evidence of what you bit into?
    I had the shards of my tooth, but I could not identify what I had bitten.
  6. #6
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Posts
    29,533
    Quote Originally Posted by dmyokum View Post
    I had the shards of my tooth, but I could not identify what I had bitten.
    Then you have a very weak case.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  7. #7
    ReformedMan is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Posts
    383
    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge View Post
    Then you have a very weak case.


    And an even weaker tooth.
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Catatonic State
    Posts
    81,916
    [QUOTE=dmyokum;2030399]What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    While eating a hamburger at Sonic I bit into a bone or something hard in the burger and broke my tooth. The replacement will be $1,028.00.


    **A: what? A burger does not cost that much to replace.


    #########
    Can I expect the Sonic to pay for it?


    **A: by all means make them pay for a new replacement burger.
  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    728
    Quote Originally Posted by dmyokum View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    While eating a hamburger at Sonic I bit into a bone or something hard in the burger and broke my tooth. The replacement will be $1,028.00. Can I expect the Sonic to pay for it? At the time it happened, I told the manager and got her business card. She said to let them know what they could do. I went directly to my dentist. He took pictures of the broken tooth and gave me the estimate to fix it. Before I call Sonic, I want to have liability information at hand.
    Thanks,
    dm
    If you can prove that Sonic caused your broken tooth, then you entitled to full reimbursement for the dentist bill if you were to sue. Therefore, you should ask Sonic for that amount.

    While it would be helpful to have the actual bone (or whatever broke your tooth) for a lawsuit, it is not necessary to prove your case since liability can be established with other evidence (if there is any).

    EDIT: I have to add that sometimes bone is found in ground beef, and therefore, it may be considered reasonable to expect it every so often. Because of that, I'm unclear whether a bone in a hamburger would actually make the burger a "defective product" (that will require research). Assuming it does, then my post above applies.
    Last edited by CameronNewport; 09-05-2008 at 03:52 PM.
  10. #10
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    35,613
    If he was unable to identify anything in the burger that could have broken his tooth, then it's unlikely he will be able to prove any liability on Sonic. A bone in a burger, as mentioned, could be incidental and not negligent. A ROCK in a burger could be negligent. But with no evidence of bone or rock or any other hard object in the burger, there is no case.

    By all means, ask them to pay the bill. But if they refuse, I just don't see any recourse.
  11. #11
    quincy is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    13,815
    After reviewing a few North Carolina negligence and personal injury actions, I ran across several cases that mirror your situation, dmyokum. The one that is most applicable, perhaps, is Goodman v. Wenco Foods, Inc.

    Goodman sued Wendy's, and the company that supplies Wendy's hamburger, for negligence and breach of implied warranty. Goodman bit down into a Wendy's hamburger and broke his tooth. He found a bone in the burger.

    Goodman had a witness who was at the table with him when he broke his tooth on the bone in the burger, he showed the bone (and his tooth fragment) to the manager of Wendy's and he had three dentists examine his broken tooth.

    For court he obtained Wendy's meat-grinding specifications, which limit the size of bone or cartilage allowable in their beef.

    There were several cases cited during the course of the trial, as well as the Uniform Commercial Code N.C.G.S. section 25-2-314 (1986). Some of the cases cited were: Sharpe v. Worland, Coffer v. Standard Brands, Inc. and other North Carolina cases and Mix v. Ingersall Candy Co. (a California case), among others.

    In one case cited, Adams v. Tea Co, 251 NC 565, 112 SE 2d 92 (1960), the court said that whenever a substance is natural to the food itself, there can be no liability because the consumer should anticipate and be on guard against the presence of such a substance (ie. fish and fish bones). In other words, it must be decided if a substance is natural or foreign to a food product and, if natural, can a consumer reasonably expect it in the food product.

    Natural substances are not foreign substances and, therefore, they are not a defect in the food product and, therefore, the seller of the food product cannot be held liable - unless the natural substance found is large enough to be injurious to the health or there is a large quantity of such natural substances appearing that would make their presence unexpected by a consumer. Only when there is foreign matter present can some liability be assumed.

    Although a restaurant has a duty of care to see that the food it serves does not injure the customers, consumers must have reasonable expectations and not expect any "perfect" product. Goodman lost his negligence and breach of warranty suit against Wendy's.

    Without the substance that broke your tooth and, therefore, without evidence that it was a foreign substance that would be unexpected in your food instead of a natural substance that could reasonably be expected in your food, you may have a difficult time holding the restaurant liable for your broken tooth (although Sonic may pay just to avoid a potential lawsuit).
    Last edited by quincy; 09-05-2008 at 05:56 PM.
  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    728
    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Without the substance that broke your tooth and, therefore, without evidence that it was a foreign substance that would be unexpected in your food instead of a natural substance that could reasonably be expected in your food, you may have a difficult time holding the restaurant liable for your broken tooth (although Sonic may pay just to avoid a potential lawsuit).
    I agree with that.
  13. #13
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Posts
    29,533
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronNewport View Post
    I agree with that.
    Good for you.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  14. #14
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Ca.
    Posts
    1,100

    broken tooth

    Quote Originally Posted by dmyokum View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    While eating a hamburger at Sonic I bit into a bone or something hard in the burger and broke my tooth. The replacement will be $1,028.00. Can I expect the Sonic to pay for it? At the time it happened, I told the manager and got her business card. She said to let them know what they could do. I went directly to my dentist. He took pictures of the broken tooth and gave me the estimate to fix it. Before I call Sonic, I want to have liability information at hand.
    Thanks,
    dm
    You can bet that the company will want to see dental records prior to the time of the incident. If the tooth was decayed, not treated or was in need of treatment, the case gets much weaker. If you have dental records that the tooth was sound, and not in need of any treatment you have a stronger case.
  15. #15
    JustAPal00 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,864
    I used to own a sandwich shop. A lady bit into a bone in a chicken salad sandwich and broke her tooth. When I was informed I called the supplier of the diced chicken we used to make our chicken salad. They said send them a bill and they would pay for the dental work. It was almost $900. If I were you I would send the manager the bill for the work. Sonic will probably cover it just from a customer service standpoint!

Similar Threads

  1. Broken tooth at restaurant
    By Alma_soul in forum Other Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-01-2012, 12:20 AM
  2. Broken tooth at golf course in NV
    By oomarcioo in forum Other Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-01-2006, 09:54 AM
  3. my son's tooth was broken at football practice
    By sjscott in forum Other Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-22-2004, 07:56 PM
  4. broken tooth
    By jadziab in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-15-2000, 01:04 AM
  5. broken tooth
    By jadziab in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-15-2000, 01:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.