If I found a foreign object that appears to be a small piece of plastic in a prepared packaged item from the grocery, do I have any rights as a consumer?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I found a foreign object that appears to be a small piece of plastic in a prepared packaged item from the grocery, do I have any rights as a consumer?

My wife and I purchased a packaged microwavable mac’ncheese from a grocery store deli. We took it home and prepared it per the directions on the package. As we started to dish it out onto our plates we found what appears to be hard piece of plastic or plexiglass the size of a silver dollar. We haven’t contacted the store yet and just wanted to know what can be done if anything at all?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under General Practice, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Both the manufacturer of the product and the seller (store where you purchased the product) are liable for negligence and strict liability.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable manufacturer 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 manufacturer is liable for negligence and the store is liable for negligence even if the store could not have known that the product was defective.  The manufacturer and store are also both liable under strict liability.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit against the manufacturer and store.

Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and store. If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit.  You probably won't recover much since neither you nor your wife ate the contaminated food and required medical treatment.  If the case is settled with both insurance companies (manufacturer and store), NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is settled with only one, but not both parties, you would only name the remaining party as a defendant in your lawsuit.  If the case is not settled with the insurance company for either the store or manufacturer, you would name both parties (store and manufacturer) as defendants in your lawsuit.  If the case is not settled with the insurance companies, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you and your wife will lose your rights forever in the matter. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption