Our client went to a local restaurant to enjoy a chicken fried steak dinner. As she was eating her meal, she bit down on a bone concealed in the meat, breaking her tooth implant. She was examined by her dentist and it was learned that her rear left implant was fully cracked and needed to be repaired.
Unfortunately, she had no dental insurance and was unable to afford the repair. She contacted Dwyer Williams Cherkoss and consulted with attorney Arne Cherkoss. We knew we would be able to help her with her claim and agreed to handle her claim.
One of the first things we did was contact the dentist to ask if he would be willing to repair our client’s damaged tooth and accept a letter of protection from our firm. A letter of protection is an agreement between a provider and an attorney whereby the attorney promises to pay the provider for services rendered, out the settlement proceeds. The dentist agreed and repaired our client’s damaged tooth.
At the same time, we contacted the restaurant, demanding that the claim be turned over to its insurance company. Not long after that, we were contacted by the restaurant’s insurance company. They denied liability, stating that they only heat the meat and do not actually prepare it. We requested, and were given, the name and contact information from the restaurant’s supplier.
After contacting the supplier and its insurance company, they too denied liability, claiming they had no part in the manufacture of the food. Thereafter, we obtained the name of the food producer and its insurance company. Not surprising, they too denied liability.
At that point, we sent demand letters to the insurance companies for the restaurant, the distributor, and the producer. We let them know that under Oregon law, each of them was individually liable for damages suffered by our client. Ultimately, the insurance companies each made settlement offers to resolve our client’s claim.
After several rounds of negotiations with each of the three responsible insurance companies, we were able to obtain settlements from each insurance company that covered our client’s medical expenses, and a fair amount to compensate her for her inconvenience, pain, and suffering.