Food + Beverage Liability

Minimizing liability and protecting brands

Overview

MG+M has an extensive and exemplary record in food and beverage liability cases. Industry leaders throughout the supply chain call on us to handle headline situations, limit government investigations, and avoid crippling liability.

The right team for complex cases
We understand the multiple factors at play in these challenging cases, from the need for swift action to protect public safety, to the importance of allocating blame. When a food-related outbreak occurs, our national footprint and extensive resources put experienced counsel by your side immediately to assess claims, mitigate damages, and represent you in proceedings.

From the kitchen to the contract
A careful investigation of both law and facts is the cornerstone of an effective defense strategy. We take a deep dive to understand, not only what happened with the food, but also the contractual obligations of parties throughout the supply chain. Members of our team include former government officials, scientists, and food service professionals with valuable practical knowledge about food liability issues. In addition, our long experience in food and beverage litigation gives us access to leading experts who can analyze evidence and serve as key witnesses.

Creative protection for brands and bottom lines
We recognize that the risks involved in food cases often exceed the face value of the litigation itself. In devising a strategy for your case, our goal is not only to win but also to restore public trust in your brand. To avoid long-term negative publicity, we often find ways to settle high-profile claims quickly, while preserving your ability to recoup costs from insurers or others in the supply chain.

A partnership in food safety
A strong food safety program minimizes occasions for potential liability and ensures that any liability issues that do arise are resolved in your favor. We work closely with your team to establish the policies and procedures that are your best defense in a health department investigation or against a plaintiff or co-defendant. In addition, we help you establish a positive dialog with the health department officials who issue often-dispositive reports in food and beverage cases. Establishing your bona fides as a company that cares about food safety can greatly enhance your credibility in future disputes.

Team
Managing Partner
Wilmington, DE
302 504 6802
Amaryah K.
Bocchino
abocchino@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Miami, FL
305 537 3416
Raúl J.
Chacón Jr.
rchacon@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Wilmington, DE
302 504 6800
Jason A.
Cincilla
jcincilla@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Providence, RI
401 443 2105
Matthew
Giardina
mgiardina@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Walnut Creek, CA
925 947 1300
Mary Kay
Glaspy
mglaspy@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8519
Brian D.
Gross
bgross@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Providence, RI
401 443 2106
Kevin W.
Hadfield
khadfield@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Hattiesburg, MS
601 255 0259
Adam
Hays
ahays@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8521
John T.
Hugo
jhugo@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8516
Daniel P.
McCarthy
dmccarthy@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8559
Jeffrey C.
McLucas
jmclucas@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8452
Rachel
Moynihan
rmoynihan@mgmlaw.com
Partner
Boston, MA
617 670 8451
David
Willis
dwillis@mgmlaw.com
Results

A food service manufacturer asked us to review and consult on its food handling practice and protocols. We worked collaboratively with the client and a sanitation expert to overhaul and improve their protocols.  Since the implementation of these revised protocols, the client has seen a reduction of claims and improved customer relationships.

Obtained summary judgment dismissal of our client, a nationwide food product distributor. After consuming sushi at a New Orleans restaurant, the plaintiff contracted salmonella poisoning and was hospitalized for nine days. The CDC eventually traced the plaintiff's poisoning to contaminated ground tuna imported from India, some of which was distributed by MG+M's client to the New Orleans sushi restaurant chain. Following ample discovery, we persuaded the court that our client notified its customer of the nationwide recall in a timely way and otherwise met its legal duty to the plaintiff and others in this food-provider poisoning case.

Obtained voluntary dismissal of a salmonella case by demonstrating that the client had appropriate food safety safeguards in place.

Successfully resolved a $2 million E.coli outbreak case that resulted in the death of one nursing home resident. For our food service provider client, we quickly settled with the plaintiff to end a spate of negative publicity while securing a health department report that subsequently enabled our client to sue the food suppliers and recover losses.

When a pregnant woman claimed that her unborn child contracted neonatal meningitis and cerebral palsy from her ingestion of listeria-tainted food provided by our client, we conducted an extensive investigation into her food history during the incubation period for a listeria illness and our client’s food handling practices.  As a result of our investigation, we were able to determine that the plaintiff could not affirmatively establish that our client’s food was the source of her listeria illness.  We filed summary judgment on causation. The plaintiff dismissed our client prior to the summary judgment hearing.

Insights