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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Q:
Can I file a claim against a school district if my child suffered food poisoning from the cafeteria?

A:

It may be possible to file a claim against the school district should a child suffer serious illness from food poisoning at a school cafeteria. Because of a variety of complex issues that could impact this type of claim, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice.

Government Immunity and Filing a Claim against a School District

Many school districts hire their own cafeteria workers. Therefore, if a child suffers serious school-related food poisoning, parents may in some cases pursue a claim against that particular school district. However, if an outside entity employs those responsible for serving food to the students, then parents may explore filing a claim against that company.

But school districts may be covered by sovereign immunity that protects government entities from lawsuits. Generally, if the school officials acted responsibly in performing their duties, the school may not be liable. In such a case, parents may talk to their attorneys about other parties that may be liable, which may include others in the chain of distribution.

Factors Relevant to a Claim Related to Food Poisoning Injuries

Food poisoning in a school cafeteria may not be a regular occurrence but it does happen. When it does, there can certainly be unpleasant side effects. This in itself generally doesn’t warrant filing a claim. However, if it caused a child to suffer serious or fatal injuries, then it might.

The claim must prove negligence. Although improper preparation and storage of food could lead to school cafeteria workers held responsible for the food poisoning, there are other scenarios in which food poisoning could occur. For instance, it may be that the food arrived at the cafeteria tainted. In this case the manufacturer who makes and packages the food could be liable.

Since the cause of food poisoning may not be readily evident and considering the complex laws that can impact filing a claim against a school district, seeking legal counsel is important. Call Jason R. Schultz for legal assistance: (404) 474-0804.

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