Tort Law

PI Lawyer's Tips on Food Safety

Contracts, compliance and having the right people in charge are critical components of an effective program to prevent customers from getting sick from food products, says a well-known personal injury lawyer.

Speaking to an anticipated audience of CEOs in the cover story of the current issue of Food Safety magazine, author William Marler says they can use the legal system to help them avoid being targeted for lawsuits by personal injury lawyers like himself.

Having the right contracts with food supply vendors, for instance, encourages them to follow best safety practices—and may make them, rather than the manufacturer, liable if they don’t, Marler points out. Likewise, it’s important to be aware of ever-changing regulatory requirements, so that the company can comply. Hiring the right people—and listening, so that any issues they identify can be dealt with—also is critical.

Marler is particularly known for having brought suit against Jack in the Box in 1993. He represented one of the most seriously injured survivors of an E. coli outbreak in the Washington state hamburger restaurant, reportedly settling her case for $15.6 million, a state record for an individual personal injury action.

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