gotta have a boo-booQuestion: Do I have a case if I found a staple embedded in meat I was eating while dining at a restaurant? I chewed it and spit it out, immediately notified the waitress and manager. They comp-ted my meal, but charged my spouse and I for the rest of our meal, then confiscated the staple, "saying they needed evidence". One end was rounded and the other end was sharp and sticking out, after I pulled the meat out of my mouth.

Answer: Let's cut to the chase. The short answer is "no". Here is why. A kid like Devon runs through a grocery store and slips on water, falls down, slides down the aisle laughing, gets up and starts running again. STOP! Suit? No way Jose' because he hasn't the 4th element, damages!

His mother Katie seeing Devon fall and then laughing turns the corner slips on the same water and breaks a hip. Sorry Katie, it is a big fat ouch! But Katie has a claim because she has damages, but what about Kid Devon? NOT! No claim. There are no damages and therefore no claim for "personal injury". Sorry Devon go to school and do your homework!

So what about the staple? No joy dude, because still like Devon you have no damages! 

Now a word of caution when anyone finds a foreign object in their meal or any package food: The store or manufacturer will always say they need the item and then it will be promptly lost, destroyed or “sent to a lab” where it will be, drum-roll please, LOST. Uh-huh, sure it’s called destruction of evidence. They do it so you can’t prove your claim. For the cost of a meal they settled your claim. Now that is a Big Mack Slap or a Super Sized Screwing! Can I have extra please?

In this instance it doesn’t matter because the fourth element of the tort is not provable. There are no damages, but we can still learn from someone else’s question. It’s a good question by the way, but I thind Devon is mad. Who knows maybe Damien will be the lawyer.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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