In October, 1974, Pauline Pleasant, of 501 15th St. NE, went to a downtown grocery store and purchased a jar of Miracle Whip salad dressing.
A few weeks later, as she was spreading it onto a piece of bread she noticed a shine to it that did not come from salad oil. It was a piece of glass.
Although she quit using the salad dressing immediately, it was too late. She had already eaten a salad on which the dressing had been used, and woke up the next morning with pieces of glass imbedded in her gums.
She sued the store and the company, claiming her gums and throat still hurt from the glass she ate.
The company admitted it should pay her minimal medical bills and did not contest its liability, but claimed her continuing pain was caused by ill-fitting dentures to which she had not adjusted in 15 years.
A U.S. jury here Monday heard both sides of the story, but refused to bite at the company's argument. It ruled in favor of the woman, and awarded her $6,500 in damages.
Mrs. Pleasant said she bought the 16-ounce jar of Miracle Whip, manufactured by the Kraft company, at the Safeway store at 11th and F Streets NW.
She said she was 11 ounces into the jar when she was making a sandwich and noticed the glass in the salad dressing.
The next morning, she said, she woke up to find traces of glass protuding from her gums. The 67-year-old woman then went to D.C. General Hospital to have the glass removed that morning and again one later occasion.
She said she spent $109.25 on doctors and other medical costs, but should receive at least $15,000 more in damages for her continuing pain.
Kraft agreed that Mrs. Pleasant suffered "a certain amount of pain" in having the glass removed, but said any continuing pain "must have been caused by reasons other than the glass, such as improperly fitting dentures," according to court refords.
According to testimony at the trail, there were no chips or cracks on the salad dressing bottle.
Mrs. Pleasant contended only that the pain remained in her gums and throat, and not elsewhere in her digestive system.