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Woman sues Frito-Lay, claims jewelry was baked into Cheetos

By Bethany Krajelis | Jul 18, 2013

A woman has filed a product liability suit over a bag Cheetos that she claims contained an extra crunch: an earring.

Jacqueline Donald filed her three-count complaint against Frito-Lay Inc. Wednesday in the Cook County Circuit Court, alleging negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability against the food manufacturer.

Donald contends she suffered injuries after eating a bag of Cheetos that she had purchased on July 21, 2011 in Chicago.

She asserts that when she bit into one of the Cheetos, her mouth began to bleed and she at some point discovered an earring with an earhole pin had been baked into one of the crunchy, orange chips.

In her suit, Donald claims that Frito-Lay was negligent when it manufactured and sold a sealed bag of Cheetos without properly inspecting its product. She also contends the company was negligent in letting its employees wear jewelry while processing its products.

As a direct and proximate result of Frito-Lay’s alleged negligence, Donald claims she was injured, incurred medical expenses, suffered physical and mental pain and lost money due to her inability to work.

Besides negligence, Donald’s suit also includes claims for breach of warranty and strict liability. Each count of her suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages from Frito-Lay, as well as costs associated with her suit.

Her breach of warranty count alleges that Frito-Lay “expressly warranted through its sale of food to the public, and by its statements and advertising that the food it manufactured, processed and sold to the Plaintiff was fit for human consumption and not otherwise containing a hard, sharp object or being injurious to health.”

The bag of Cheetos Donald bought “would not pass without exception in the trade and was thus in breach of the implied warranty of merchantability,” the suit asserts.

In her strict liability count, Donald claims the bag of Cheetos she bought was defective in that it contained a foreign object, posing “a serious threat of causing buyers of the Cheetos Crunchy injuries and damages.”

John Skapars of Hubbard, Hubbard,  O’Brien & Hall in Franklin Park submitted the suit on Donald’s behalf.

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