Having represented an elderly gentleman injured when he ate a portion of a prophylactic that was hidden in an instant dinner, the recent report of the settlement by a restaurant settles with patron who found condom in his soup resonated with us here at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd.
In our case, the Plaintiff and his son had made a frozen "Steak tips with noodles and cream sauce" dinner. The plaintiff fell out of his wheelchair when he encountered a particularly chewy noodle that turned out to be of a rubbery material. To our client and his son’s examination, it appeared to be a used condom hidden in the cream sauce. Because they saved the evidence in a zip lock bag, along with the purchase receipt and grocery bag, we were able to establish the seller, supplier and manufacturer. Without that evidence, it would have been very unlikely that we could have proven the case.
In the recent Restaurant food injury case, the customer ordered French onion soup. According to the case report, as he was eating, he bit down and chewed on what he thought was a rubbery piece of cheese. When he spit it out, he discovered that it was a condom. The restaurant patron became ill in the restaurant bathroom. Subsequent testing reportedly revealed unknown male and female DNA on and in the condom. The customer suffered anxiety and distress as a result of the incident. In addition, fear of possible disease affected his marital relations with his wife and his ability to sleep. The couple incurred about $4,000 in medical expenses for exams, blood tests, and psychological counseling.
The restaurant patron and his wife sued the restaurant, alleging it was strictly liable for serving the soup with the condom in it. The plaintiffs were prepared to present deposition testimony from the general manager in which he admitted that he saw an object sitting on a napkin at the restaurant and confirmed after inspecting it that it was condom.
The restaurant denied the claim, arguing that it found no evidence of a foreign object in the soup. The defendant also initially claimed that the plaintiffs might have planted the condom, but the defendant’s chief operating officer admitted at deposition that the restaurant had no evidence the condom had been planted. Both parties retained DNA expert witnesses. The parties subsequently settled for a confidential amount. The key to these food injury cases is having actual evidence of foreign objects and corroborating eyewitnesses.