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Food Claims



Foreign object or substance in your food:

If you were injured as a a result of a foreign object or substance in your food you likely have an Oregon product liability claim based upon the theory of negligence.  Examples:

  • Glass in food
  • Drain cleaner in food

In Oregon, the jury, arbitrator or judge in your case will determine if there was negligence in your case by analyzing the facts of your case in relation to the reasonable expectation test.

Reasonable Expectation Test:  “A product is unreasonably dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchases the product with the ordinary knowledge common to the community as to its characteristics.”  UCJI No 48.03.

Analysis:  Inarguably, glass or drain cleaner in food is not reasonably expected and poses an unreasonable risk of danger.

Natural Substance in your food:

In at least one Oregon Supreme Court case, the court found no liability when a cherry pit was left in cherry pie. The court reasoned because cherry pits are not a foreign substance in a cherry pie, the cherry pits can be reasonably expected and guarded against. Hunt v. Ferguson Paulus Enterprises, 243 Ore. 546 (1966).  However, this case is a 1966 case with no subsequent history.  Since 1966. the Oregon legislature has changed the product liability statutes. Today, if you were injured as a result of a natural substance in your food, then an analysis would need to be done under the current statutes, case law and jury instructions.  See ORS 72.3140, ORS 72.3150 and ORS 30.920. Currently, the reasonable expectation test would be applied to the circumstances and it would be up to a jury, arbitrator or judge to decide if the product was unreasonably dangerous to the consumer.

Dangerous Food Containers:

Not only must food be safe, but the container for the food must be reasonably safe.  In Stubbs, a waitress knocked a ketchup bottle on a counter to loosen the cap.  Then she gave the cracked bottle to a customer to open which resulted in injury.  The Restaurant was found negligent.  Stubbs v. Pancake Corner of Salem, Inc., 458 P.2d 676 (Or. 1969).

Rotten or Contaminated Food:

If you can prove you got sick as a result of food due to the negligence of a restaurant or manufacturer, then you may have a claim based upon negligence or based upon Oregon’s Implied Warranty of Merchantability and Implied Warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.  See ORS 72.3140 and ORS 72.3150.  In 1974, the Oregon Supreme Court held that in order to hold a restaurant owner liable, it is sufficient to show that restaurant owner should have known of the bad condition of the food if they were exercising reasonable care and was therefore negligent in serving it.  See Gardyjan v. Tatone, 528 P.2d 1332 (Or. 1974).

In more recent cases, the Oregon Appellate Court has held that sellers of defective products are strictly liable.  This means that one does not have to prove the seller was negligent, only that the seller sold bad food, the food caused illness or injury and the consumer did nothing wrong.  See UCJI No. 48.01.  Also See Johnston v. Water Sausage Corp, 83 Or App 637 (1987).  See ORS 30.900, 30.920(1)-(2).

Preserve and have the evidence tested:

If you believe that you got sick as the result of food, preserve the evidence and find a place to test the food.

Purity Laboratories

 Make an incident Report and Promptly Seek Dental and/or Medical Attention:

Promptly make an incident report to any seller who causes you injury or illness and promptly document your injuries by obtaining dental and/or medical attention.

If you fail to properly document your claim, your case could be lost.  We want you to win and receive full value for your claim!