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        Can I Hold a Restaurant Responsible?

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Question:

        About 2 weeks ago I visited a restaurant in my town. I purchased 2 kids meals for my children, After eating a few of the nuggets my children notice that they tasted funny, that’s when they showed it to the baby-sitter and she called me, the nuggets were RAW.

        I took the nuggets back up to the store where I purchased them and showed them to the manager, she did not seem at all surprised by the site of these gross nuggets.

        Later that evening my children started getting sick and stayed sick for 4 days. On Sunday I called their doctor and the nurse on call told me that I did not need to bring them in right away because they had no fever or pains that did not go away after they use the restroom or vomited, nevertheless I had to physically check all of their fluids by hand to make sure there was no trace of blood.

        Monday I called the local owner of the restaurant and spoke to the administrative assistant. She did not seem to concerned until I called corporate office and blessed them out about it.

        Wednesday the claims office called me and offered me  $50.00 a child as a settlement for their trouble saying that I could buy something nice for my children or my husband and I could finish our evening out that was interrupted Saturday night and that it was more than usually offered for under cooked food, but since it was children they would go ahead and offer the $50.00.

        I informed her I would have to speak to my husband about it (I really just could not let her have it because I was at work).

        Thursday I received coupons in the mail for 2 small fries and 2 small hamburgers. I really do not think this is enough for the trouble my 2 children, my husband and I had to go through because of their mistakes. If you could please help me or find an attorney in Augusta that will help me I would be most grateful, not one of the attorneys I have called in this town will call me back.

        –Shannon, Augusta, GA

        Answer:

        You are describing a products liability case. The reason attorneys aren’t calling you back is because attorneys will not undergo expensive litigation unless there is a permanent injury. Since the injury is temporary, an attorney will never even be able to recover the expenses incurred due to the high cost of litigation and the relatively low value of the case. This is one of the unfortunate failures of our legal system.

        However, there is a Court system that will hear your case. Its called Small Claims Court. Its like the People’s Court on T.V. Its designed to allow prosecution without a lawyer. You tell your story, the defendant will tell theirs and the judge will make a decision. Call your local Court House and they will instruct you how to file a small claims case. Its easy, but most people don’t like to do it because it does take a day or two out of their lives.

        Your evidence will consist of your medical records and your sworn testimony. Go get your medical records from your doctor. I wish there was more a lawyer could do for you in this situation, but the system will bankrupt an attorney who tries. Who pays the price? Not the restaurant. Not the lawyer. You do.

        Clifford Horwitz
        AUTHOR

        Clifford Horwitz

        As Principal Partner and lead trial lawyer of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, Cliff has devoted his entire career to achieving justice for those who have been victimized by corporate negligence. He has won numerous record-setting jury verdicts and settlements, as well as what was the largest personal injury verdict in Illinois for an individual.

        All stories by: Clifford Horwitz