12/01/06 — Woman claims she found tooth in biscuit

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Woman claims she found tooth in biscuit

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on December 1, 2006 1:46 PM

A Wayne County woman has filed a lawsuit against McDonald's after allegedly finding a piece of a human tooth in her food last year. She is seeking at least $10,000 in damages over the incident.

Terryl Underwood, who is represented by Goldsboro lawyer Ron Lawrence, filed the lawsuit in August in Wayne Superior Court against Wilson-based Dixon Foods Group Inc., Irvine, Calif.-based Golden State Foods Group and McDonald's Corp.

The lawsuit stems from an alleged incident on Nov. 4, 2005, when Ms. Underwood entered the McDonald's restaurant at 2002 Wayne Memorial Drive and ordered a sausage biscuit. The restaurant is owned by Dixon Foods Group Inc. and receives food and ingredients from Golden State Foods Group. Ms. Underwood said in her lawsuit that after she began eating the biscuit, she bit down on a piece of a human tooth.

After realizing the object was a tooth, Ms. Underwood spit out the tooth and claimed she became nauseated and vomited, which required medical attention. Since that time, she alleges that she has suffered physical pain and discomfort, missed time from work to make repeated visits to the hospital and has suffered mental anguish.

The lawsuit claims that Dixon Foods, Golden State Foods and McDonald's, along with Goldstar Franchise Inc., are liable for providing the proper ingredients for the food it serves and for inspecting it for foreign objects before sale.

Ms. Underwood said the sausage biscuit was defective at the time of sale, which violates a North Carolina statute concerning the "implied warranty of merchantibility," according to the lawsuit. She is seeking $10,000 from the defendants with interest beginning the day the lawsuit was filed. That includes money to cover attorney fees and any other relief "a court deems just and equitable."

On Oct. 13, the defendants filed a request seeking more time to respond to Ms. Underwood's complaint. When Dixon Foods and McDonald's, represented by Raleigh lawyer F. Marshall Wall, did respond, the companies claimed neither was afforded a "reasonable opportunity to inspect the product that would have or should have revealed any alleged, but denied, condition which might have caused injury or damage to" Ms. Underwood.

The sausage biscuit could have been altered, modified or changed after it was purchased, which could have caused Ms. Underwood's injuries, the defendants claim. Also, Ms. Underwood may have "failed to exercise reasonable care in her inspection and consumption" of the sausage biscuit.

Ms. Underwood and Lawrence have requested a jury trial.