Woman sues, saying she ate bug-infested candy bar

August 31, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

An Odenton woman who claims she couldn't eat for weeks after biting into a maggot-infested Hershey bar filed a $2.6 million suit yesterday against the candy maker and the store that sold the candy bar.

Brenda Epps of the 1300 block of Cadbury Drive and her husband, George Epps, filed suit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against the Hershey Foods Corp. of Hershey, Pa., and the Shell Food Mart in the 500 block of Crain Highway.

According to the suit, Ms. Epps bought a milk chocolate bar with almonds on June 7 and had eaten half of the candy bar when she saw that "the portion remaining contained maggots." She then "became violently ill and vomited," the suit says.

Ms. Epps also claims that she lost work, required medical care and suffered "serious and permanent physical and psychological injuries." The suit seeks money damages for claims of negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability. It also seeks $100,000 on a separate claim for loss of consortium.

Robert Joel Zakroff, Ms. Epps' lawyer, said his client could not eat for weeks after the incident and had to go on a liquid diet. She also had trouble sleeping and suffered "post traumatic stress," which caused her to see a psychiatrist, Mr. Zakroff said.

"If you're eating something and you bite into it and see that it has bugs moving inside it, it could have a lasting effect," he said. "It's pretty disgusting."

Mr. Zakroff said that Ms. Epps is a secretary in the offices of Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

The convenience store's owner did not return phone calls yesterday.

Bonnie Hinkson, a spokeswoman for Hershey, said that she could not comment on the suit, but that the company has sufficient quality checks to ensure the candy bar was bug-free when it left the factory.

"We're quite certain that when a product leaves our factory every step has been taken to see that it's a quality product," she said.

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