Warning! Restaurants in the U.S. and court case

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 4:25am
river's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I found this today:

[url="http://subscript.bna.com/SAMPLES/pld.nsf/aa4cf7ac13f31a0085256b57005cdaa..."]http://subscript.bna.com/SAMPLES/pld.nsf...3f?OpenDocument[/url]

I believe that it means the restaurants in the U.S. have no legal responsibility to warn customers about possible allergens in the food.

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 5:04am
PeanutKate's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/24/2000 - 09:00

I believe your interpretation is likely too broad to be correct. I am not a lawyer. I have worked professionally with legal information sources on behalf of lawyers, government officials and others.
The person who lodged the suit chose to do so under Washington's Product Liability Act and Washinton's Consumer Protection Act. Those state acts apply in that state and the judgement was regarding her specific argument the the restaurant meal was a manufactured product with a construction or design defect. That sounds like an interesting approach but a long shot! Cases involving other laws and other arguments or in different states might have a different result. This is a very limited case.
I also think that since we are urged as allergy sufferers to avoid Chinese, Thai and related ethnic foods that part of the problem here was an unrealistic expectation of safety. Now don't jump on me for "attacking the victim" as I really am not as I regret that she seemed to lack needed information and took a risk that had an unfortunate consequence for her.

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 5:11am
PeanutKate's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/24/2000 - 09:00

Probably should add this info:
My brother received a cash settlement from a restaurant that promised to mix his salad in a clean bowl using utensils that were fresh from their dishwasher. The server asked the cook to come out from the kitchen to talk to him about his peanut/nut allergy and after a conversation that was quite detailed, the cook agreed that he could produce a salad that was nut free. Instead, he mixed the salad in a bowl that had been used to mix a salad with walnuts in it and my brother had an anaphylactic reaction The restaurant had to call 911. The owner apologized and offered a cash settlement The cook is not working there anymore. In this case there was a promise to act in a way that reduced risk and that promise was broken with a horrific consequence for my brother.

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 6:29am
Peg541's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

This seems perfectly clear.
The woman ordered Almond chicken. She is allergic to peanuts. Not a good idea.
Peg

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 6:31am
river's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

PeanutKate, I hope that you are right about this. I would hate to think that American restaurants had no responsibility at all when answering a customer's questions about allergens in the food.
I don't think you that you are blaming the victim at all because you're right when you say that she was putting herself in a high risk situation.
If she didn't know any better and hadn't been properly informed, then she may just have a lawsuit with her allergist.

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 7:19am
California Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Based on the article (which by the way, River, I thank you so much for providing!) I don't think the restaurant should be held liable. There was no claim that this dish was "peanut free", nor did the customer (apparently) even mention her allergies when ordering.
PeanutKate's brother's story is chilling. It makes me wonder if the chef was "testing" to see whether the bowl would truly make a difference. Very, very scary.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2003 - 10:16am
LaurensMom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

My DH is a chef and we know a lot in the industry. I know in his kitchen if someone comes in with a food allergy and they are told about the food allergy, they go thru great lengths to make sure things are safe. They've gone so far as to scrub the grill clean before cooking for an allergic individual. Could this be because he is working there? Maybe, but we've gotten good responses from the restaurants we visit. One chef said to call ahead of time (just a hour or so) and he would make sure he had safe meals for the kids.
I think that the allergic woman handled her situation poorly. It is HER responsibility to notify someone that she is allergic. Restaurants are not required to give out recipies. How did she know it hadn't changed? How did she know it wasn't know flavored with peanut oil? You know, IMHO, I feel that the fact that the case even came to court is a shame. It makes it look like we all are that irresponsible. (Don't take me as cold-hearted. I do feel for the woman and hope she made a quick and complete recovery from the reaction.)

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by agrohimacn Tue, 02/25/2020 - 1:25pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by krisztina Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:49pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by chicken Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:45pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by lexy Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:21am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:15am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:11am
Comments: 5
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:03am
Comments: 10
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:52am
Comments: 2

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

If children begin to eat many different foods at a young age, there is much more of a chance that by the time they are in school, they will eat...

Those with peanut allergies often find that they are unable to enjoy dessert since there's always the...

If you've ever tried to find...

For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a...

Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other...

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...