Restaurant Liability Issues Can Wreck A Nice Dinner Out

What’s your favorite restaurant? No matter what kind of food you like, most people enjoy going out to eat from time-to-time. Going to a restaurant provides a break from cooking and cleaning, and offers the chance to have a dish that you might not make at home. Unfortunately, though, without proper sanitation or safety procedures, restaurants offer high chances of injury, too!

Common restaurant injuries include:

  • Food poisoning (including salmonella, e. coli, and shigella)
  • Slip and falls on slippery, unclean, or improperly marked surfaces
  • Broken teeth from foreign materials in food, or even from the food itself, like an almond in ice cream
  • Burns
  • Choking and improper CPR efforts

Who Is Liable?

Restaurant owners, like hotel or store owners, are inviting guests onto their premises. Therefore, they are liable for any foreseeable injuries or damages. This means that the injury or damage must have been predictable or preventable. If a restaurant knowingly serves a soup at a dangerous temperature, the injury to a patron might be foreseeable.  On the other hand, if a patron spills a drink  and another patron slips on the spill within minutes, the restaurant might not be liable. The event was unforeseeable, and the staff would not have had time to prevent the injury.

In some situations, particularly food poisoning, an outside party, like a manufacturer, might be responsible instead of the restaurant. If a waiter warns a patron about a hot dish, but the patron ignores their advice, then the patron might be comparatively negligent if any injury occurs.

Restaurant workers are also at high risk for injuries. Common injuries include cuts from kitchen utensils, burns, eye injuries from grease or chemicals, and sprains or strains from lifting kitchen equipment.  In these cases, it’s an issue of workers’ compensation. Injuries to workers are more likely to occur in fast-food settings, with burger and pizza restaurants causing the most injuries.

After An Injury

Like with all premise liability cases, there are important steps to follow if you are injured. Immediately report your injury to a restaurant manager, so that they can file an injury report. When you don’t report your injury right away, it becomes easier for a dishonest owner to cover up the damage, or insist that your injury did not happen on their property. If you can, take photos or video of the scene of the accident, especially if your injury was caused by a wet floor, something in your food, or something else that can easily be documented.

If you know the steps to take following a restaurant liability issue, it’ll make your next meal out much more enjoyable!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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