It's happened to most of us: you order something with an olive in it -- maybe a salad or a sandwich -- and bite into it, discovering suddenly that the fruit is not of the pitless variety. This may lead to a grimace or, on a bad day, maybe a curse -- but a lawsuit?
That's apparently the end game for Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who says in court papers that a wrap he ordered from a Capitol Hill cafeteria was “unwholesome and unfit for human consumption, in that it was represented to contain pitted olives, yet unknown to plaintiff contained an unpitted olive.”
Kucinich's suit, filed Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, says that the wrap caused him “serious and permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple surgery and oral procedures.” The congressman also claims that he has suffered “significant pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment.”
Despite the significant media coverage that Kucnich's suit has engendered, the incident happened nearly three years ago -- his suit says that he purchased the wrap “on or about April 17, 2008.”
The suit targets Restaurant Associates, which manages the cafeteria in the Longworth House Office Building, one of the four buildings used by members of the House of Representatives, as well as its parent company Compass Group.
Kucinich, whose campaign Website labels him “America's most courageous congressman,” hasn't been publicly exhibiting any of the “pain [and] suffering” he says he has experienced. According to an ABC report, Kucinich gave a speech on the floor of the house shortly after the alleged incident occurred. He also made no public mention of the injurious sandwich until five days after the mishap.
Negligence and warranty claims alleged
Kucinich's lawsuit alleges counts in negligence and breach of implied warranty. As to the negligence count, his complaint says the defendants “breached [their duty of care] by serving plaintiff food that ... contained dangerous substances, namely an olive pit, that a consumer would not reasonably expect to find in the final product served.” Regarding the breach of implied warranty claim, Kucinich says that the defendants reneged on their implied promise that “food sold by them for consumption was was fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used.”
The suit, which demands damages in the amount of $150,000, was filed by Andrew R. Young, a prominent Cleveland-area attorney whose website lists him as a Super Lawyer.