When we spend hard-earned money in restaurants, we hope that back in the kitchen, our food is prepared in a safe manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In a recent well publicized and disgusting case in Florida a man was served a rat head in his meal:
Cases of foreign objects in food are not as rare as you might think. I have personally represented personal injury clients who ingested dangerous foreign objects in their restaurant food and were injured. In one case, a client ingested a piece of metal in a deli sandwich which lodged in his throat requiring surgical removal. In another case, in which I was an arbitrator, a man was served a bottle cap in his soup which lodged in his throat nearly choking him to death.
Restaurants are required to follow all applicable health and safety standards in their industry and those enforced by local heath departments. Additionally, a patron of a restaurant has the expectation that the food purchased is fit for human consumption and there is plenty of law to support this.
Establishments that sell defective food are strictly liable if it is in a defective condition. § 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, addresses the case in which a seller of an unreasonably dangerous food or beverage product who was engaged in the business of selling such products is potentially liable for physical harm caused by consumption of the product. More specifically, Comment i, known as the "consumer expectation" test, establishes that a manufacturer is strictly liable for any condition not contemplated by the ultimate consumer that will be unreasonably dangerous to the consumer.
Additionally, Section 2-314 of the Uniform Commercial Code provides for an implied warranty of merchantability in the sale of goods. The expressed language of Section 2-314 of the Code explains that the serving of food or drink for value constitutes a sale. Generally, an injured plaintiff may recover for breach of implied warranty of merchantability against the restaurateur. Lastly restaurant that sells adulterated food in this manner, violates Arizona Revised Statutes § 36-904.
Jay Ciulla is a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer - Call (602) 495-0053.