A man who needed emergency dental surgery after breaking two teeth on a rogue pebble in his bowl of breakfast cereal has won £3,000 in compensation.
The man – who asks not to be named – was left in severe pain after crunching down on a stone found in his cereal and needed emergency surgery to have his molars rebuilt. When the victim approached Aldi, where the Harvest Morn Fruit and Fibre cereal was bought, he was only offered a £10 voucher as compensation. Given this, he turned to legal action to obtain compensation to cover the ongoing dental costs for the surgery and make up for his pain and the inconvenience of missing work.
The man, who is in his 40s and lives in North West England, said:
“I was eating a bowl of cereal one morning and unknowingly bit into a pebble. It was a shock as I could instantly feel that the tooth enamel had crumbled, and it was painful. I only thought one of my teeth was damaged, so I saw a dentist as soon as possible who repaired it with composite bonding. But that night I realised another one was also damaged so I had to go back and get that one sorted, too.”
Composite bonding has a limited lifespan of between five and ten years, which means further dental work will be required in future. He has also been forced to be careful not to test his new teeth with any food that’s chewy or tough.
When the victim approached the Aldi store where the product was purchased he says their response felt like he was being “fobbed off”.
“I took the pebble into the store and they sent it off to head office. A couple of months later they came back to me. They said their supplier, Morning Foods Limited, confirmed that the foreign object was a stone and said it must have contaminated the cereal during harvesting. Aldi offered me a £10 voucher, a replacement packet of the cereal and to cover my original dental treatment costs. I thought it was a bit cheeky, like a slap across the face. I felt I was being fobbed off.”
He instructed CEL Solicitors – experts in personal injury claims – to act on his behalf.
CEL brought a claim against Aldi and Morning Foods Limited for compensation and to cover the cost of surgery, with Morning Foods Limited admitting liability for the stone entering the product during the harvesting process.
The victim received just over £3,000 in compensation.
Tom Hurley, a personal injury solicitor at CEL Solicitors, said: “No one expects chipped teeth, emergency dental appointments and time off work when they eat a bowl of cereal. Whilst I’ve no doubt every effort is made to prevent incidents like this from occurring, it was only right that our client was compensated. I believe the settlement we secured is a much fairer outcome for our client and better reflects the pain and inconvenience he experienced.”
The man said: “I’m much happier with the outcome, but it goes to show that if you have a valid complaint you must keep pursuing it. Companies can be very quick to dismiss or obstruct when you have an issue that needs resolving and I’m glad I stuck to my guns and got some legal support.”