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Kroger Co. v. Beck

Court of Appeals of Indiana
375 N.E.2d 640 (1978)


Facts

Phyllis Beck (plaintiff) took a bite of a piece of steak she had bought from Kroger Company (Kroger) (defendant) and got a piece of a hypodermic needle stuck in her throat. Beck immediately ran to the bathroom and vomited. At the time, Beck believed that she could choke to death. As a result of the incident, Beck no longer wanted to prepare or eat meat. Beck also experienced incident-related nightmares. Beck did not suffer from scarring on her throat or any lasting physical injury. Beck brought a products-liability suit against Kroger and sought recovery for emotional distress. The small claims court awarded Beck $2,700 in damages for emotional distress. Kroger appealed, arguing that there was no contemporaneous injury that caused Beck’s emotional distress, thus barring her recovery.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Staton, J.)

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