Can you sue if you find an insect in your canned food?

Question Details:I found a grasshopper leg in my mouth after myself and my family almost finishing our canned greens. Can I sue the company? We are traumatized.We don't know if we ate the rest of that grasshopper or what else might have been in there. We live in Geary County, TX.

Asked 5 years ago under Personal Injury | 7010 Views | More Legal Topics

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J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

A product is defective is it is delivered to you in a condition that is unreasonably dangerous or not fit for ordinary use.  In this case, a product that has a grasshopper in it, is not fit for ordinary use as the grasshopper is not supposed to be there.  I suggest that you take a picture of the grasshopper and send it to the company that makes the canned greens.  You certain have a products liability claim against this company and should be entitled to some form of  compensation.  I suggest that you hire a lawyer to write a letter to the company demanding a settlement amount and enclose the pictures of the grasshopper is you still have it.  If the grasshopper is no loger available you lost key evidence and you will only collect based on the testimony of the witnesses or yourself.  I suggest either way that you have a claim and should hire a lawyer to make a claim.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

There are two issues in a lawsuit: (1) is there legal fault, or liability, that would obligate someone to pay; and (2) how much must they pay. In the first case, there is probably liability; this would be be defective product. However, as to (2), it is very difficult to recover for emotional "trauma"--it's hard to prove objectively that it exists, let alone set a number on it, and there are limitations in the law about when you can sue for it. If you and your family did not suffer physical injury or illness or incur medical costs, it is very likely that you could not recover enough money to make a lawsuit worthwhile.

You could certainly consult with a product's liability attorney to see if (s)he thinks you have a worthwhile claim--many will provide a free or reduced price consultation. Also, you may be able to contact the company, document what happened, and get some compensation from them (which they'd provide for PR, customer relations, etc.) without going through the cost of initiating a lawsuit.

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