Two broken teeth on olive pit in pizza = $23,000

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A man who broke two teeth when he bit into an unpitted olive in a slice of Pizzicato pizza has settled his lawsuit for $23,000.

Todd Wyckoff had filed a $49,999 lawsuit in November against the Portland restaurant chain, seeking compensation for dental bills and his suffering after buying a puttanesca pizza from the chain’s Laurelhurst location at 2811 E. Burnside St. on Aug. 1.

“Unbeknownst to (Wyckoff), one of the olives on the pizza contained an entire pit,” stated his suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

He spit out the pit, which was about as long as the diameter of a quarter.

Wyckoff underwent oral surgery to remove the cracked teeth and allow a dentist to create a partial bridge to replace those teeth. To do that, the dentist had to file down five teeth, said Wyckoff’s Portland attorney, Benjamin Cox.

Wyckoff racked up about $6,000 in dental bills. He is a retired home remodeler.
olive pit in a Pizzicato pizzaThe suit faulted Pizzicato for allegedly failing to “adequately inspect and discover the unpitted olive even though the olive jar’s label warned of potential pit fragments.” Puttanesca pizza contains “fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and feta on a garlic/olive oil base,” according to the restaurant’s menu.

Tracy Frankel, Pizzicato’s owner and president, couldn’t be reached for comment this week about the settlement with the restaurant chain’s insurer, Liberty Mutual.

Cox said Liberty Mutual didn’t make any offers to settle before he filed the lawsuit. Rather, the company said fault rests with the olive manufacturer, not Pizzicato, Cox said.

“As you can imagine, (my client) didn’t want to go to Greece to pursue someone to get his teeth fixed,” said Cox, adding that Pizzicato was ultimately responsible for serving Wyckoff an unpitted olive. “At the end of the day, it was one of their employees who put it on there.”

At the time the suit was filed, Frankel told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the company’s restaurants “do our best to to check all of our ingredients so they are up to our standards.”

Tracy and Marc Frankel founded Pizzicato 25 years ago, “just a little ‘mom and pop’ in a tiny location on Portland’s west side,” according to the restaurant’s website. It now encompasses 17 locations.

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Two broken teeth on olive pit in pizza = $23,000, 4.7 out of 10 based on 15 ratings

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