Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Entitled To Damages: VOL 3




You might very well be retarded. Then again, you just might be Entitled To Damages.

ALLEGATION: A Surrey, B.C., woman is suing Colgate-Palmolive Canada Inc., claiming that her toothbrush broke and severely injured her mouth while she was brushing five years ago.

Five years ago, you say? Why is this considered news now?

The case is scheduled for trial Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Oh, because that’s how our court system works. Five years is ‘a timely manner’ in court lingo. I imagine they have one of those little bingo cages and just pull random claims every once in a while.


According to her statement of claim, Saliha Alnoor was brushing her teeth in Oct. 2006 when the handle of her Colgate Active Angle toothbrush — which she had purchased at a grocery store two months earlier — broke in two places.

Damn, how hard were you brushing? Nothing short of jackhammering your mouth in a concentrated effort to rid your teeth of years of gingivitis should yield this unlikely result.

You know what I would do if my toothbrush broke? Stop brushing my fucking teeth. Take the broken toothbrush out of your mouth. Put it down, rinse and spit. Not done? Too bad! Your toothbrush is broken, dumbass. Guess what? You need a new toothbrush.

Not this woman, though. Splintered stick be damned, this is a woman with oral hygiene commitments. And, after all, it’s recommended that you only use a toothbrush for up to three months; She still had an entire month to put this thing to use, even if the handle was in pieces and the bristles resembled a Don King/Phil Spector hybrid. 

She said the toothbrush tore her gums, which began to bleed profusely before she passed out.

“I was very fortunate that my family members were around me when I was injured,” Alnoor said in a statement of claim filed in May 2007.

Because I always invite my family into the bathroom to watch me brush my teeth (But never to floss. That’s just plain rude.)

Apparently seven months was also ‘a timely manner’ to Ms Alnoor because, while this happened in October, she didn’t say shit about it until May.

“Because of the injury and the excruciating pain, I had fainted for a few minutes and my family members made sure that I did not swallow and choke and drown in my own blood while I was unconscious.”

That’s because your family members didn’t want to have to describe to the paramedics or funeral goers that you were too inept to use as simple a tool as a toothbrush.  That’s embarrassing to admit.


Alnoor said she contacted Colgate and was asked to provide some more information. She said she never heard back from the company after giving the requested information.

The conversation went something like this:

COLGATE: “Wait, you stabbed yourself with a defective toothbrush? Are you really that stupid?”
ALNOOR: “Yes.”

“The defendant failed in its duty of care owed to the plaintiff and others to properly test the suitability and safety of the Active Angle toothbrush before releasing the said product into the marketplace,” an amended statement of claim filed in 2009 states.

What others? Is this a class action lawsuit? Show me someone who has trouble brushing their teeth and I’ll show you someone who needs to wear a protective helmet at all times.

It also seems that, while twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the courts to pull their number from the spinning ball thing, the lawyers decided to make changes to their claim more than two years after it was filed. That’s how bored they were.


And how dare they call the suitability of the device into question! One of the main features is that it comes in a variety of hot colours to appeal to everyone. Hear that? Everyone.

“The Active Angle toothbrush suffered from serious mechanical design flaws which were known or ought to have been known by the defendant at all times material to this claim,” the claim states.

“Oh damn!” exclaimed surprised toothbrush engineers at Colgate. “This plastic stick with fur on the end suffers from serious mechanical design flaws! Forget the batteries and the lasers. How do we improve the stick technology?”

‘Ought to have known’ in whose opinion? They ‘ought to know’ a lot of things about their product. They ought to know these things could be wielded as a weapon and used to stab someone in the jugular to hijack an airplane too, but I doubt it crossed their mind when they were attempting to revolutionize the way you scrub leftover food particles out of your mouth.  

On Amazon, spicymonkey13 actually gave a rave review of the Active Angle toothbrush, saying the only complaint was that the neck could have been longer. That’s it. See? No mention of handle breakage or complete and total toothbrush failure, as in Alnoor’s case (Of course, spicymonkey13 sound suspiciously like the pseudonym of a dental hygienist with something to lose, so I'm not sure if we can take his review into consideration.)

According to the claim, Alnoor’s injuries have led to gingivitis, poor appetite and weight loss. She required “extensive” oral surgery to repair the damage to her mouth and continues to endure pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of the amenities of life.

How much enjoyment to you derive from brushing your teeth? Even if I do it twice a day, it doesn’t even make the list of Top 100 Things I Enjoy On Any Given Day (although other bathroom adventures like shaving and reloading the toilet paper roll are likely somewhere on that list.)

And which amenities are we talking about exactly? I can’t understand how a toothache could have much bearing on watching TV or riding a ferris wheel – two things that are indeed enjoyable - but perhaps giving a blowjob (if oral sex indeed qualifies as an amenity of life, in which case I submit she’s using the toothbrush accident as a convenient excuse not to go downtown because she doesn’t like to swallow.)


Before the incident her dental and general health were reportedly “excellent.”

Her ability to perform simple tasks without getting hurt was quickly downgraded from “satisfactory” to “poor.”

The claims have not been proven in court.

So this woman could be crying wolf about the whole thing? Well, good thing it’s going all the way to the Supreme Court! They’ll get to the bottom of these shenanigans. They don’t fuck around up there.


Alnoor is seeking general, special and punitive damages, plus costs.

Plus costs? Sounds like she’s still trying to get a refund on the toothbrush. And I don’t know how much ‘special damages’ are, but I hope it’s enough to buy this woman a rubber toothbrush with enough cash left over to pad her entire fucking house.

The Active Angle toothbrush does not appear on Colgate’s website, but a similar model is still being sold. No recalls have been issued for the toothbrush.

A statement of defence has been filed but could not be obtained Monday. Alnoor, her lawyer and a representative from Colgate could not be reached for comment.

Of course, this last part could have been left out altogether. Do your job or don’t do your job, but reporting that you couldn’t do your job is not news and is irrelevant to the already sad and pathetic story.


JUDGEMENT: Keep an eye on these halfwits who can’t seem to get a grip on safe dental care – right??? - and let’s make sure they don’t impale themselves on a toothpick or accidentally hang themselves with a strand of dental floss. Things can go south real quick.




1 comment:

  1. Dude, you rule.
    Funny as always always....never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are.
    I really do wish this would turn into a huge scandal though, the "Col-gate" jokes just write themselves.

    ReplyDelete