Woman seeks $175K from Long John Silver's for possible dentist visit

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Nov 27, 2007

MARSHALL -- Seeking more than $175,000, Iler Boyd is suing Long John Silver's, Inc. after biting into her dinner and discovering a foreign object. She told health inspectors she might have to go to the dentist.

The incident occurred at lunchtime on Aug. 24, when Boyd went through Long John Silver's drive-thru in Longview and ordered a two-piece fish dinner combination. She states that when she began to eat her lunch, she bit into a piece of metal. She took the food back to the restaurant and was refunded her money.

Later that afternoon, Boyd called the city of Longview Environmental Health Department to investigate. Boyd told the investigator that her teeth were beginning to hurt and she may need to visit the dentist.

The Environmental Health inspector concluded that Boyd's dinner contained a one-inch piece of wire.

"The inspector investigated and found a stainless steel wire lifter used to lift fish out of oil, had missing pieces from the side that matched the complainant's wire in her food," the report stated.

The environmental health division issued the Longview restaurant a notice of violation stating food contact surfaces shall be in good repair.

Boyd initiated the litigation on Nov. 21 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas. The plaintiff asserts Long John Silvers' is negligent for failing to see that the cooking utensils were in good repair, to provide wholesome and uncontaminated food, to inspect, repair, and/or replace its food preparation equipment, to properly train personnel, and failing to implement proper policies and procedures to prevent hazardous conditions and/or remove the hazard once occurred.

Boyd also contends the defendant breached a common law implied warranty that food products are wholesome and fit for human consumption.

Boyd is seeking more than $175,000 in damages for mental anguish, pre and post judgment interest, past and future medical expenses, physical impairment, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and attorney fees at $250 per hour.

Longview attorney Rex A. Nichols Jr. of the law firm Nichols and Nichols, P.C. is representing the plaintiff.
U.S. District Judge T. John Ward has referred the case to Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham.

Case No.: 2:07cv00513

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