From a legal standpoint, claims of food liability are based in product liability, the cornerstone of the firm's litigation practice. Despite the fact that the American food supply chain is one of the most regulated in the world, risks remain for the consumer, the restaurant and the supplier as food-borne illness, while largely preventable, remains common. This litigation frequently creates unique issues for a variety of defendants.
The interplay between state tort law and federal regulations in food liability claims is complex. In keeping with our maxim, Segal McCambridge seeks to simplify this interplay for the benefit of our clients. Our attorneys are well-versed in handling class action claims and are knowledgeable in possible federal preemption defenses.
Causation is the primary battleground in a food liability claim and so we rely on experts and make extensive use of the medical and scientific literature in preparing and presenting the appropriate theory of the case. Our food liability group has developed, deposed, examined and cross-examined experts from a diverse group of disciplines (epidemiology, infectious disease, radiology, pathology, toxicology, etc.). The services provided to our clients in this area include not only defending product liability, personal injury and property damage claims, but also helping clients prevent such claims from arising in the first place. These services include training and advising our clients' personnel regarding document retention policies, instructing on informal fact investigation, providing guidance for any anticipated media and public relations campaigns, developing and assisting in the development of applicable safe handling instructions, and advising on labeling standards. Our attorneys are available to make presentations to personnel employed by our clients regarding a range of issues and procedures to lessen the potential for liability to food-related claims.