CHARLESTON - A Putnam County woman is suing an area restaurant for $50,000 after she bit into a nut and damaged one of her teeth.

Mary Jane Balderson, along with her husband Phillip Balderson, filed a suit Aug. 22, in Kanawha Circuit Court against O'Charley's. O'Charley's is a national restaurant chain with several West Virginia locations, including the one in Barboursville where the Baldersons visited.

According to the suit, Balderson ordered a salad that contained shelled pecans.

"However, while she was eating her salad, (Balderson) bit into a whole, unshelled, candied pecan and immediately suffered tooth pain as a result," the suit says.

Balderson claims whole, unshelled, and candied pecans are not listed as an ingredient in any salad on O'Charley's menu.

According to the suit, Balderson told her server and management about the pecan. The manager told Balderson that putting whole, unshelled, candied pecans in salads, "happens all the time," and apologized for the accident.

Because of the damage from biting into the pecan, Balderson had a root canal, tooth extraction, placement of posts into her gums and installation of porcelain teeth. According to the suit, her medical bills totaled more than $8,647.

Balderson also suffered pain, suffering, annoyance and aggravation, as well as great fear and anxiety because of the dental procedures.

Phillip Balderson claims he has lost the consortium and services of his wife.

Together, Mary Jane and Phillip Balderson seek $50,000 as well as any other damages the court deems necessary. They also reserve the right to seek punitive damages from O'Charley's if discovery warrants it.

Attorney Richard E. Holtzapfel is representing the Baldersons. The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1775

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