June 27, 2011
If a new lawsuit is any indication, that kind of thing still happens.
Pennsylvania married couple James and Brenda Cammack are suing Texas Roadhouse because James found a piece of a latex glove in a dinner roll he was served at the restaurant.
Okay, not so much “found” as “choked on.”
While the complaint doesn’t specify for exactly how long he was choking on the latex, it wasn’t long enough for anyone else in the restaurant but his wife to notice.
Despite its brevity, the event apparently was extremely traumatizing to Cammack.
Since it occurred almost two years ago, Cammack claims to have suffered the following injuries:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- constriction of his throat
- weight loss
- inability and/or difficulty swallowing
- inability to eat solid foods
- inability to eat in public places and/or social situations
- inability to eat any food that was not prepared by an immediate family member
- intense anxiety
- depressive symptoms
- intense fear of contracting a communicable or infectious disease and/or disorder
- sleep disturbances
- embarrassment, humiliation and a severe impact on his daily functioning
So will he be able to get anything because of all of these injuries?
While there’s no question that Texas Roadhouse was negligent (the complaint lists various legal theories based on negligence), that doesn’t automatically mean Cammack can recover.
Those injuries are mainly psychological in nature, and to make things even trickier for Cammack, they aren’t directly linked to any concrete physical injury.
Why is that a problem?
Because without physical harm, there’s very little hard evidence to support any injury claim.
That seems to be less of a worry here, though, since the complaint lists several medical professionals who have made diagnoses corroborating at least some of Cammack’s claimed injuries.
But even if Cammack is sincere in his injury claims (and, more importantly, he’s able to prove it to a jury), that doesn’t guarantee him victory.
He would also need to demonstrate that it was reasonable he sustained the injuries that he did.
Some injuries – such as the nausea, vomiting, and maybe the PTSD – he has a chance at.
Others – such as the inability to eat solid foods and the fear of contracting HIV – are a hard sell to a jury.
Nevertheless, it would require intensive evidentiary exploration to even make a demonstration that these injuries would’ve been sustained by any reasonable person.
Such a deep inquiry would be extremely expensive for Texas Roadhouse.
And that tells us whether Cammack will see anything out of this lawsuit.
No matter what Cammack’s chances are in court, there’s no way Texas Roadhouse is going to want to litigate because of the potential costs.
As such, the case will, in all likelihood, get settled for an undisclosed sum.
Hopefully, that sum will be sufficient to help Cammack sleep better at night.