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Food Product Liability Cases Summarized By Product Liability Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Food Product Liability. For more information about food poisoning see the pages on Wikipedia.

Food Product Liability-Statutes

See Va. Code § 3.2-5100.

Food Product Liability-Cases

2005 Bussey v. E.S.C. Rests., Inc., 270 Va. 531, 620 S.E.2d 764.

Food poisoning case. Plaintiff testified that she ordered beef tips cooked well done and after eating some of them she complained that the meat smelled bad. The manager of the restaurant admitted that he had told the cook not to use that meat. The plaintiff had no other food that day nor had she eaten anything else prior to the beef tips. Her treating physician testified as an expert that she had symptoms caused by food poisoning. This was sufficient to establish elements for a jury case as to negligence and/or breach of implied warranty in regards to the food. Burden was on plaintiff to show that the food was unreasonably dangerous and that condition existed when the food left the defendant’s hands. Plaintiff met her burden in this case.

1991 Goins v. Wendy’s Int’l, 242 Va. 333, 410 S.E.2d 635.

Food poisoning case. Trial court erred in admitting evidence of absence of other complaints about food.

1990 Harris-Teeter, Inc. v. Burroughs, 241 Va. 1, 399 S.E.2d 801.

Plaintiff’s daughter-in-law purchased cake from bakery. She requested that there be no ornaments on cake. Bakery placed two plastic bird ornaments, white in color, on cake, which had white frosting. When piece of cake was served to plaintiff, she swallowed one bird. Burden is on plaintiff to show that product contained foreign matter at time that retailer sold it and delivered product to consumer. Law requires plaintiff to show: (1) goods were unreasonably dangerous, either for purpose for which they were ordinarily put, or for some other reasonably foreseeable purpose and (2) that unreasonably dangerous condition existed when goods left defendant’s hands. Plaintiff failed to meet this burden.

1974 Lynchburg Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Reynolds, 215 Va. 1, 205 S.E.2d 396.

Plaintiff became ill from drinking cola with mold and other foreign substance in bottle. Verdict for $3,000 deemed excessive.

1966 Levy v. Paul, 207 Va. 100, 147 S.E.2d 722.

There is implied warranty of wholesomeness which attaches restaurant-patron relationship. This is under Virginia common law and does not give retroactive effect to UCC.

1965 Brockett v. Harrell Bros., 206 Va. 457, 143 S.E.2d 897.

Plaintiff purchased ham from retailer. Implied warranty applied to both manufacturer and retailer.

1959 Swift & Co. v. Wells, 201 Va. 213, 110 S.E.2d 203.

Food product liability.Virginia makes distinction with respect to warranties on food and other articles of commerce. Plaintiff purchased from local retailer, food manufactured by defendant and sold in closed container. Plaintiff ill with food poisoning. Defendant liable on implied warranty of wholesomeness.

1950 Newport News Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Babb, 190 Va. 360, 57 S.E.2d 41.

Food product liability.Where foreign substance is found in bottle, an inference of negligence must be predicated on finding that bottle not tampered with after it left possession of defendant.

1949 Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. McCullers, 189 Va. 89, 52 S.E.2d 257.

Food product liability.Mouse in cola bottle. Jury question presented as to when foreign substances got into bottle. However, jury should be instructed as to possibility of rebutting inference of negligence on part of defendant by showing that bottle or container was tampered with and/or that defendant had exercised high degree of care in cleaning and filling its bottles.

1949 Norfolk Coca-Cola Bottling Works v. Land, 189 Va. 35, 52 S.E.2d 85.

Food product liability.Bottle of cola contained worm. Foreign substances in food or beverage packages, not tampered with, are in themselves evidence of negligence; prima facie case of negligence on part of manufacturer of said food or beverages is made out.

1944 Blythe v. Camp Mfg. Co., 183 Va. 432, 32 S.E.2d 659.

Food product liability.When retail dealer sells food (not in sealed package) for immediate use, there is implied warranty that it is fit for human consumption.

1943 Kroger Grocery v. Dunn, 181 Va. 390, 25 S.E.2d 254.

Food product liability.Implied warranty exists as to sale of food.

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Food Product Liability Cases Summarized By Product Liability Lawyer

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