Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Warning: chewy candy may be chewy and require chewing

Poor, poor woman (see the video here).

Starburst Fruit Chews are exactly as their name would indicate: chewy. But one Michigan woman says the candies are so chewy, they should come with a warning label.

Victoria McArthur, of Romero, Mich., is suing Starbursts' parent company, Mars Inc., for more than $25,000 for "permanent personal injuries" she claims she sustained after biting into one of their yellow candy in 2005.

"I don't know, maybe about 3 chews and it literally locked my jaw … and it just literally pulled my jaw out of joint," she told

McArthur's lawyer, Brian Muawad, says the candies caused her to develop a condition known as temporal mandibular joint dysfunction. McArthur says she has had trouble chewing, talking and sleeping since the incident.

Muawad says McArthur offered to negotiate a settlement with Starburst's insurer to pay for her rehabilitation, but the company said no way. A spokesman for Mars refused to comment.

McArthur says she just wants to make sure nobody else meets the same end she did when she decided to indulge her sweetooth.

"I don't want to see anybody else have to go through what I have gone through from eating a piece of candy that was supposed to be soft chew," she said.

Warning label? Hell, Starbursts ought to come with an instruction manual for people like McArthur. Except that would require that she actually know how to read -- perhaps a tall order for someone for whom eating a piece of candy taxes her faculties.

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