Kucinich Settles Olive Pit Lawsuit
Rep. Dennis Kucinich has settled his lawsuit over biting into an olive pit in a sandwich at a federal cafteria, breaking his tooth and requiring multiple dental procedures. While the amount is confidential, he says it covers his out-of-pocket expenses.
"I feel that the defendants have responded fairly and reasonably," Kucinich said. "I don't want to have to make another dental visit for a very long time and will be making no further comment on this matter."
After filing the lawsuit, Kucinich released the following details: [More...]
The fix took almost two years and required three dental surgeries, none covered by insurance.
Kucinich says his tooth split in half, vertically through the crown and tooth, below the level of the bone. The tooth's internal structure could not be restored. The injured tooth, which anchored his upper bridgework, became infected. Antibiotics Kucinich took for the infection caused an adverse reaction that obstructed his intestines and required "emergency medical intervention," his statement said.
A specialist told Kucinich the damaged tooth had to be removed. Replacing it required two implant procedures. His bridgework had to be completely reconfigured, involving six replacement teeth.
I would bet the intestinal issue had a lot to do with his filing the lawsuit. I wonder if he was prescribed the antibiotic Clindamycin and developed Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) You can read the horror stories here.
In an e-mail Kucinich sent out today, he wrote:
The injured tooth and the bone above it became infected. I took a course of antibiotics for the infection, had an adverse reaction to the antibiotics which caused me to have an intestinal obstruction and emergency medical intervention.
The lawsuit (available here)doesn't describe his "medical" injuries but says they were the proximate result of eating the sandwich. (After reading the horror stories, you'll see why he wouldn't want to broadcast the details.) During settlement negotiations before the lawsuit was filed, the defendant companies probably wouldn't accept responsibility for the intestinal damage caused by the antibiotic, insisting it wasn't their fault. It sounds like today they've changed their mind, and are at least willing to pay his medical expenses associated with the treatment.
I don't think this is a silly or frivolous lawsuit at all. Nor do I understand people belittling Kucinich over it. I do wonder if he's also going to sue the drug manufacturer or the dentist who prescribed the antibiotic, or whether he reached a settlement with them to avoid a lawsuit. In any event, although I'm speculating, I wonder if the intestinal issues from whatever antibiotic he was prescribed were largely to blame and the stumbling block to a pre-lawsuit settlement.
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