A 58-year-old woman, who broke a tooth after biting into what she described as a rock-hard ciabatta roll, has been awarded €17,470 damages in the Circuit Civil Court against a Dublin store.
ernadette Moore told the court that on August 4, 2015, she bought the roll at Centra, Fairview, Dublin, having chosen it from a basket above the delicatessen counter and having asked a store assistant to put fillings in it.
Moore said that after leaving the store she went to her car and started driving while eating her sandwich. She had felt a crack in her upper left pre-molar after the first bite on the “rock-hard” roll.
She told her barrister, Conor Kearney, that she then went back to the shop to inform staff about what had happened. She claimed a store manager had been very apologetic and offered her a bottle of water and painkillers.
Mr Kearney, who appeared with Tracey Solicitors, said Ms Moore, of Belclare Park, Poppintree, Dublin, had later attended her dentist. She discovered she had suffered a fracture in her tooth.
Counsel said the tooth could not be preserved and would need to be extracted and replaced by an implant. He said the estimated cost of the dental procedure was €2,470.
Moore told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she had not been able to afford to have the work done and now needs to take painkillers on a daily basis. She also had difficulty eating.
She sued Fairview Retail Investments Ltd, which trades as Centra Fairview, of Annesley Bridge Road, Fairview, for negligence. She claimed the bread had not been suitable for consumption.
Moore alleged the roll had hardened after it had been left under a light on the deli counter for an excessive period of time.
The store had delivered a full defence to Moore’s claim, denying all her allegations. It claimed she had not paid proper attention to what she was doing, as she had been driving.
Judge Groarke said that suggesting a customer had an obligation to examine their food to see if it was edible or to ensure that there was nothing wrong, would be pushing the matter a bit too far.
He said that a report form from the incident filled by the store staff had gone missing, "as did the deli assistant and the store manager who were not in court to give evidence today".
Hearing that a full recovery was expected after the dental procedure had taken place, he awarded Moore €15,000 damages for her pain and suffering and €2,470 for the future dental work, a total of €17,470.