Thursday, January 31, 2013
Responding to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit, the Washington Supreme Court has held that a deputy sheriff who got a Whopper with cheese from a Burger King drive-thru and "observed what appeared to be a glob of spit on the meat patty" has a cause of action for emotional distress without suffering a physical injury.
The deputy touched but did not consume the loogie. He sued under the state products liability act.
The court held that the claim was properly brought "if the emotional distress is a reasonable response and manifest by objective symtomatology" to touching the contaminated food product.
DNA testing proved that the spit came from a Burger King employee, who was charged and got 90 days in jail.
There is a dissent. (Mike Frisch)