The politicans who complain about frivolous lawsuits don’t see the ones we screen out. Here’s a recent question and my response.


Q.  On November 25th 2008, my boyfriend had purchased, among other things a order of fries. We live about 5 minutes from the store. When he returned home we proceeded to eat. The fries were cold, burnt and not prepared correctly. I was hungry and continued to eat, only to find a cracking sound. When I looked at what I was chewing on it was just dust, no pieces of teeth, just dust. My left upper back tooth had chipped. I’m not sure if it is a wisdom tooth or a dental sealant that cracked, either way my teeth were fine before.

I proceeded to call the store, explained the situation, she said that the insurance company would call me back. About a week later, after the lovely Thanksgiving holiday, the insurance company called me back.

Long story short he asked me some questions concerning my visit. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to be examined by a dentist to ensure it wasn’t tooth decay and it was indeed the restaurants negligence. There in lies the problem, it a chicken and egg thing.

I recently had my 1st son and I am unemployed w/o insurance. I can’t go to the dentist w/o insurance and if the restaurant backs out, I’m footed with the bill. The longer I wait the worse it gets.

I would appreciate any advice or insight to the situation that you can give me:) Also, do you think it would worth trying in court?


A.  In reality, even if you go to the dentist and get a favorable report, the value of that claim, if any, would be minimal. I wouldn’t bother with it if I were you.

Someone else may have a different opinion, so feel free to consult a lawyer in your town.


Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy,. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases.  Currently he is Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.