Lawsuit: Starburst dangerously chewy

By John O'Brien | Jul 11, 2007

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - Life was fine for Victoria McArthur on April 1, 2005, as she popped a yellow Starburst chew in her mouth.

The affects of that little candy, however, are now the subject of a lawsuit seeking more than $25,000. McArthur says the fruit chew was too chewy and damaged her jaw, and that its makers -- Mars, Inc., and Master Foods USA -- had a duty to remove the dangerous condition.

The complaint can be found here.

"Prior to said incident, Plaintiff was a reasonably strong and healthy female," says the complaint, filed June 20 in Macomb Circuit Court in Mount Clemens, Mich. "Due to the negligence of said defendant and injuries afore described, Plaintiff became ill, sore and lame."

The suit, filed by attorney Brian Muawad of Muawad and Muawad, alleges negligence on the part of the defendants that created pain, humiliation, mental anguish, embarrassment, gross indignity and inconvenience for McArthur.

McArthur says that she developed pain in her jaw while chewing on the candy and began having trouble opening her mouth.

"I don't know, maybe about 3 chews and it literally locked my jaw ... and it just literally pulled my jaw out of joint," she said, according MyFoxDetroit.com.

That report goes on to say Muawad claimed McArthur developed temporal mandibular joint dysfunction, causing problems chewing, talking and sleeping. Also, his effort to negotiate a settlement was turned away by the defendants' insurer.

A personal injury attorney, Muawad is a member of the Arab American Bar Association and the Michigan Bar.

"Defendants owed a duty to manufacture and market the Starburst Fruit Chews with reasonable care and to diminish the hazards associated with consuming them," he wrote. "Further, Defendants had a duty to preclude the dangerous condition from occurring by warning the plaintiff of the adverse condition."

McArthur claims she was monetarily damaged by missing work, suffering an impairment of earning capacity and racking up still outstanding medical bills.

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