News & Events:


July 8, 2014

In April 2014, a food poisoning claim was settled in California for $682,500 based upon a diagnosis of reactive arthritis caused by salmonella poisoning.   The 30 year old plaintiff was hospitalized for 16 days and will require medication the remainder of her life.  The case was brought against the restaurant, the distributor and the marketing company. 

Food safety is an increasing area of regulation and potential legal liability.   It has been almost 20 years since the Jack in the Box cases which were promptly followed by the Odwalla e.coli cases.   Consumer awareness and expectations have grown during that time period as have the regulations placed upon the food and produce industries.  

The California Health & Safety Code establishes extensive health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities to assure that Californians have a food supply that is safe, and unadulterated.  In addition the federal Food Safety Modernization Act has far reaching implications for anyone in the food, produce or food service industries.  To comply with state and federal regulations, best practices (particularly “Good Manufacturing Practices”) have to be adhered to by everyone in the “food chain,” or each and all may be included in any resulting litigation.  

Knowing how to prepare for litigation once it appears on the horizon is the next best thing to avoiding litigation in the first place.   The lawyers at Emerson Sorensen Church have helped numerous clients in the food industry navigate and interpret state regulations as well as defend against all manner of claims.  We work with our clients and their business counsel to strategize early and be prepared in an effort to control the damage litigation always causes. 


Rayma Church
Rayma Church

Practice Area

  • Hospitality & Premises Lawsuits