TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Family of Peanut-Allergic Girl Sues Panera Bread over Peanut Butter in Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The family of a 6-year-old girl who is allergic to peanuts is suing Panera Bread for negligence, based on an incident in which the restaurant added peanut butter to a grilled cheese sandwich despite a warning the girl had a peanut allergy.  The restaurant blamed the incident on a language issue.  The family heard of a similar incident in a Panera Bread not far from them.  The Boston Globe has the story.

June 7, 2016 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Decided

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued an opinion in Coomer, the case of the fan injured by a flying hot dog.  The court ruled that getting hit with a hot dog is not an inherent risk of baseball and the trial judge should not have allowed an assumption of risk instruction.  The opinion is here.  Alberto Bernabe, who has followed the case, has comments here.  Michael McCann wrote a guest post for TortsProf in 2010 that foreshadowed the holding.


June 27, 2014 in Food and Drink, Guest Blogger, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chef Eduardo Garcia Update

Here's a good story for the holidays.  John Hochfelder shares news of his former client, recovering from injuries suffered from electrocution.  Chef Eduardo Garcia is in this week's People Magazine and will be on Good Morning America soon.


November 30, 2013 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Food Court

The Recorder has an interesting article about the "food litigation" docket in the Nothern District of California.

Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.


March 8, 2013 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Burger King, Spit, and Emotional Damages in Products Liability

A suit over a burger, spat upon by an employee of Burger King, resulted in the Ninth Circuit certifying a question to the Washington Supreme Court.  Plaintiff developed an uneasy feeling after receiving a Whopper with cheese.  When he lifted the bun, he saw a "slimy, clear and white phlegm glob" on the burger.  The glob was tested and was a DNA match with one of Burger King's employees, who pled guilty to felony assault.  Plaintiff claims ongoing emotional distress.  The district court granted judgment on the pleadings to Burger King.  On appeal, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question:  “Does the Washington Product Liability Act permit relief for the emotional distress damages, in the absence of physical injury, caused to the direct purchaser by being served and touching, but not consuming, a contaminated food product?”
The case is available here.  (Link has been fixed)
Thanks to Susan Raeker-Jordan for the tip.

January 20, 2012 in Food and Drink, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alcohol and the Restatement of Torts

What did the drafters of the Restatement (Second) of Torts drink as they prepared it?  Kyle Graham has answers at Co-Op


December 1, 2011 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TX: Four Loko Stroke Case Filed

A Texas man has filed products case against the manufacturer of Four Loko, alleging that the combination energy drink/alcoholic beverage caused him to suffer a stroke.  He seeks $75,000 in compensatory damages, as well as punies. has the story.


July 27, 2011 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SC of IL: No Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking Despite Voluntary Undertaking Argument

Late last week, the Supreme Court of Illinois denied liability in a social host case for underage drinking.  Plaintiff's decedent, age 18, attended a party at defendants' house.  He was a friend of the defendants' son, who was hosting the party.  Plaintiff's decedent allegedly consumed alcohol at the party.  Shortly after leaving the house, he died in an automobile accident.  The interesting doctrinal angle is the allegation that the defendants made a voluntary undertaking to supervise the party and prohibit drinking.  The Restatement (Second) on voluntary undertaking is discussed in detail.  The case is available here.

Thanks to Mark Weber (DePaul) for the tip.


May 25, 2011 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hot Nacho Suit Against Disney

In March 2010, a California family visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with their four-year-old son Isaiah.  While there, they bought some nachos as a snack.  Those nachos "were spilled" on Isaiah, who suffered burns. 

They've now sued Disney in a suit that might -- sort of -- echo the famous/infamous Liebeck coffee case, though there are some obvious differences (age of the plaintiff, the particular way the injury occurred, etc.). 

The complaint is available here (PDF), and the exhibit, with a photo of the boy's burns, is available here (PDF).

According to at least one vendor's website, nacho cheese is held from 140-155 degrees.


February 10, 2011 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kucinich Suing Over Olive Pit

Per Gawker, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is suing the companies that supply and operate the House of Representatives cafeteria for damages caused by the presence of an olive pit in a wrap he purchased about three years ago.


January 27, 2011 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Olson on the Happy Meal Lawsuit

Walter Olson takes on the Happy Meal lawsuit in a guest column at New York Daily News.  ("McDonald's suit over Happy Meal toys by California mom Monet Parham new low in responsible parenting")


December 16, 2010 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Sequel to the McDonald's Coffee Case

A man going through a McDonald's drive-thru in Virginia was allegedly burned by the grease from a chicken sandwich.  When he took a bite, “the grease from the inside of the chicken sandwich spread out all over my bottom lip, my top lip, down onto my chin.” When he complained to a McDonald's employee, another employee allegedly stated, “This is what happens to the sandwiches when they aren’t drained completely.” The Fourth Circuit vacated judgment for the defendants and remanded the case for trial.  The opinion in Sutton v. Roth, L.L.C. is here.  The story is from VLW Blog.


January 27, 2010 in Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FDA to Look at BPA

In a course change, the FDA announced that it would be attempting to change BPA's status from "food additive" to "food conduct substance" and that it would be engaging in an extensive safety review of the product, which is in myriad food containers and other plastic packaging.


January 16, 2010 in Food and Drink, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)