South Carolina Food Law: Why Is There a Needle in My Turkey Sandwich?

Foreign substances not common to the food they are found in can range from a caterpillar in a salad to a sewing needle in a packaged sandwich. That is what passengers on a recent Delta flight found when they bit into their turkey sandwich, a metal needle. ABC and WSJ are reporting that at least two passengers found a metal, sewing needle in their food while traveling on a Delta flight from Amsterdam.

I remember eating a salad at a “nice” restaurant when I was in college and the leaf kept moving.  I realized there was actually a live animal enjoying my salad, too. Although not far fetched to find a caterpillar enjoying leaves of lettuce it was not something: a) I wanted to see; b) I was accustomed to by growing up in the United States; and c) I felt exemplified sanitary conditions.  The waiter offered to bring me a new salad but for some reason my appetite had curbed.

That real life example in comparison to another one this past weekend when my wife and I were eating crab cakes and encountered small fragments of crab shell-offer two different scenarios. The crab shell was nothing to be alarmed with as crab cakes are made from crab meat found inside the crab shell. Now had we bitten into or found:

  • a metal hook;
  • hypodermic needle;
  • bullet; or
  • other substance not found naturally with the substance of the food…

that would have been odd. Thus the meaning of “foreign substance” in a food product.

No worries South Carolinians as your legislatures have set forth the  South Carolina Food and Cosmetic Act, found at South Carolina Code Section 39-25-10, to define many instances of adulterated or misbranded food that may cause you or your loved ones injuries. If not defined by the statutory definitions there may be other causes of actions under common law negligence.

We are currently representing and have represented clients that have experienced the following:

  1. Ingested a “finishing nail” while eating a birthday cake from a supermarket where the bakery was undergoing construction;
  2. Broken teeth from a metal object found in their hamburger at a local fast food chain; and
  3. A dozen or more clients impacted by the lot and batch number of peanut butterjars contaminated with animal feces from a neighboring plant.

Other articles I encountered while putting this article together provide varying insights:

  1. Immediately alert your restaurant server;
  2. Get medical care;
  3. Document proof of purchase;
  4. Secure physical evidence;
  5. Take photographs;
  6. Make a complaint;
  7. Notify health agencies; and
  8. Inquire about your legal rights.

Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC: The Only Name You Need to Know

As of June 1, 2012, our law firm has undergone an incorporation of a new name-mine. I started working with Ernie Trammell straight out of law school seven years ago and the rest is history.

We service primarily the northwest corner of South Carolina, commonly referred to as the Golden Corner, along with the neighboring Georgia counties (as we are licensed to practice law in South Carolina and Georgia). The corridor of interstate 85 runs through the county of our headquarters and keeps us busy with car accidents and trucking cases. There are no shortage of want to be “autobahn” drivers on i85.

When it comes to other practice areas, Ernie Trammell has amassed over 30 years of practicing law and primarily focuses on workers’ compensation claims. Ernie has achieved the highest rating through Martindale-Hubbell, with an “AV” rating.

Given the nature of personal injuries and on the job injuries, it seems an easy transition to someone not being able to work any more as a result of their traumatic injuries. Brad Bledsoe heads up the social security disability department of the law firm and has vast experience in working with totally disabled clients. Both Ernie and Brad are licensed in Georgia.

We have continued to diversify our civil law practice by assisting those injured by dog bitesdefective products, and premises liability cases involving negligent landowners.

Please continue to keep up with our firm through the many social media avenues.


South Carolina’s “Alive at 25” Campaign Making a Difference

Alive at 25” is a driver’s awareness course developed by the National Safety Council and focused on young drivers from the ages of 15-24. The course curriculum focuses primarily on these three areas:

  1. Defensive driving;
  2. Decision making; and
  3. Responsibility taking.

The South Carolina Chapter of the National Safety Council runs the “Alive at 25” program within the state and so far has over 79 high schools that are participating. The hard facts illustrated on the website are alarming:

  • Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the U.S;
  • Young drivers are involved in fatal crashes at more than twice the rate of all others;
  • Young drivers are involved in nearly 28% of all crashes, even though they represent only 14% of the nations’ licensed drivers; and
  • 172 young drivers in 2010 were killed in vehicle collision in South Carolina.

The Greenville News & Pickens County Courier recently reported that Pickens County School District will require students in the next school year that want to park at the district high schools to complete the “Alive at 25” course before hand. This would encompass the following high schools in the upstate:

The facts are hard to argue against helping teens in any way make better decisions on the roadways in this state.

Since the implementation of this program in 2007, the state’s death toll among drivers 15-24 has dropped by 38%.

Any life saved is worth the $35 for the cost of the course and 4 1/2 hours the program takes to complete. Ask your high school about this course or get a group of friends together and take this course. You never know-it could save your life or the life of someone else.


What Do You Know About Your Insurance Company?

If 100 people were polled about the the most important aspect of their insurance company, sadly 90 percent would say the cost, or price.  Yet, what good is paying insurance premiums if you are never going to be able to have peace of mind in the time you are in need of that insurance coverage? What? You never thought about actually having to use that insurance coverage?

Automobile insurance is mandated by most states, homeowners and property insurance is mandated by most mortgaged backed lien holders. When your life insurance policy goes into effect you won’t have to worry because you’re dead but wouldn’t it be comforting in your final days to know that your family will have no additional worries or hassles?

Then do your homework or just Google the insurance company you are thinking about engaging in coverage of your most valuable assets-you and your family! My friends ask me all the time what are the best insurance companies on my end to deal with. Of course I am jaded and cynical but there are those insurance companies that are fair and equitable. There are more that are inequitable and immoral but those are easy to find in an Internet search. Try Googling  “Allstate sucks” to see what comes up.

Chubb Insurance started a recent advertising campaign entitled,  “Who insures you doesn’t matter. Until it does.”  Chubb states the reason for this advertisement campaign:

A new corporate print advertising campaign reminds commercial and personal insurance purchasers and their agents and brokers that an insurer is only as good as its financial strength and its willingness to pay its claims in a fair, prompt and hassle-free manner.


Be in the 90% of people that talk about insurance costs, not in monetary value, but intrinsic value that go much further in your time of need.


Social Security Disability: Go Away, Give Up, or Get Help

First of all, Social Security disability is a crazy, frustrating, mostly broken system which will confound you at every turn and make you curse, if you are that type of person, as most of us are or will be by the time we get through dealing with Social Security.  Several years ago when the Trammell Law Firm attorneys were asked to come up with TV commercial scripts for our areas of practice, I entitled my script about Social Security “It’s A Nightmare”, and it was then and it still is now, and it most likely always will be a nightmare.

For example, most of the time when people come to see me about their disability claim, it’s right after they get their first turn-down letter saying that they are NOT DISABLED.  One of the most important things for you to know is that getting that turn-down letter most often means absolutely NOTHING about the strength of your disability claim and whether you will ultimately be successful.  I would conservatively estimate that 99.9% of EVERYONE who applies for disability gets turned down at least once, and most often for a second time as well. For a long time after I first started practicing Social Security disability law many years ago, I tried and tried to come up with some reasonable way of explaining to my clients, who were understandably upset, why they got turned down.  But you know what?  There is NO REASON, except that Social Security wants you to give up and go away.  That is a terrible thing to say, but I believe it is the only way to explain all these constant turn-downs for everyone, even people whose medical records show that they are obviously sick or injured and cannot work.

So, the lesson to be learned is: DON’T GIVE UP!  You have to keep fighting Social Security by appealing every time you get turned down until you finally get your day in Court before a Judge.  Except in very, very rare cases, only when you get your Social Security Disability Hearing with a Judge will you finally get a fair and honest review of your claim.  When you get a letter from Social Security turning you down for disability, it will state very clearly that you have 60 DAYS TO APPEAL the denial decision.  Pay attention to the date on the front of the letter, and DO NOT LET THAT 60 DAYS RUN OUT BEFORE YOU FILE YOUR APPEAL!  If you let the 60 days run out, and you do not appeal, Social Security will most always make you start all over again with a new claim, and if you have to start over, you might ultimately lose some money if you win your case.

OK, then, that’s all for today, and thanks for reading my first official blog.  Sorry about all those capital letters, but every time I think about what Social Security disability does to my clients for no reason, it makes me mad all over again, so thanks for letting me vent.  My plan is to try and talk about some more of the Social Security disability nightmares from time to time, so be on the lookout for future posts.

Hello everybody.  I’m Brad Bledsoe and I am the Social Security disability lawyer here at Trammell Law Firm.  Trey has invited me to contribute to his “blog” by “blogging”. I don’t really know what that means because I’m old and not up on all these technological things like Trey and the other youngsters.  My paralegal’s 4-year-old was nice enough to show me (more than once) how to take a picture with my new iphone, as an example.  (Between you and me, the word “blogging” reminds me of the sound a cat makes before it coughs up a hairball, but what do I know?)  Anyhow, Trey says it means to write something about Social Security disability which might be of interest to people who want to know some things about how it works – or doesn’t.

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