Kucinich Settles Lawsuit Over Olive Pit in Sandwich

CLEVELAND -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Friday that he settled a lawsuit filed against a Capitol Hill cafeteria over a split tooth he says he suffered when he bit into an olive pit in a sandwich wrap.

The lawsuit filed in early January in Washington had sought $150,000 in damages from companies involved with the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount that reflected out-of-pocket costs, according to the parties involved.

The Ohio congressman said biting into the pit in April 2008 split a tooth down to the bone, caused excruciating pain and required reconfigured bridgework. The damaged tooth became infected, and he suffered a reaction to an antibiotic and an intestinal obstruction that required emergency medical attention, Kucinich said.

The initial dental implant to replace the split tooth failed and required a second attempt, he said.

None of the dental expenses were covered by insurance, he said.

Kucinich, a liberal who made an unsuccessful bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, said he was satisfied with the legal outcome.

"I feel that the defendants have responded fairly and reasonably," he said in a statement. "I don't want to have to make another dental visit for a very long time."

One company named in the lawsuit, Compass Group USA Inc., declined to release settlement terms.

"The parties have exchanged information and, after some investigation and discussion, have resolved the matter for an amount all parties believe reflects the actual out-of-pocket expenses related to this incident," the company said in a statement.

A second company named in the lawsuit, Performance Food Group Co., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.