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Food Poisoning Issues at King County Schools


During the 2022-23 school year, mostly due to pandemic relief programs, 95 percent of King County public school students qualified for free school lunches. Economically, this high number was very good for families. Too many times, school lunches, even at heavily-subsidized prices, simply aren’t in a family’s budget. This high number was bad news for student health and safety. Most schools didn’t hire more workers to cope with the increased demand. As a result, many food issues went unaddressed.

When government bureaucrats refuse to protect vulnerable people, like children, a Seattle premises liability lawyer stands in the gap. Food-related injuries are irreversible, However, an attorney can obtain the financial compensation these victims need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Kinds of Food-Related Injuries

Freshness, sanitation, and digestion are some of the most important parts of any meal, school lunch or otherwise. If employees neglect one of these areas, a Seattle personal injury lawyer holds them responsible for that shortcoming.

School lunch items are often the last stop on the supply chain. Frequently, the government buys leftover food produced for restaurants, repackages it, and serves it to students.

That process is perfectly safe, as long as it includes a thorough freshness inspection. This inspection means more than a quick look at an expiration date. A freshness inspection includes a close look at each individual item, looking for signs of spoilage.

Most school kitchens are clean. School lunchrooms, especially after hundreds or thousands of students have come in and out, are a different matter. Additionally, school lunch food sometimes comes from dirty processing facilities.

Because of these dangers, school employees have a special duty of care to ensure that the complete environment, not just one part of it, is sanitary.

Digestion usually means food allergies. Many students have anaphylactic reactions to certain foods. These reactions could be life threatening. School employees have a responsibility to double-check records and ensure that a student doesn’t receive poison for lunch.

Liability Issues

Inattention in one of the aforementioned areas is usually negligence, or a lack of care. If that’s the case, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation in court.

The duty of care is based on the story of the Good Samaritan. This man went out of his way to help an injured traveler. Likewise, everyone must go out of his/her way to avoid injuring someone else. If that someone else is a child or other vulnerable individual, the duty of care expands. So, it’s easier to prove breach, or a lack of care.

Victims must also establish cause and damages. Legally, cause usually means substantial cause. So, if the victim had a pre-existing condition that contributed to an allergic reaction or other injury, maximum compensation is usually still available, since the school’s negligence substantially caused injury. Generally, the victim’s damages must be tangible.

The school district, as opposed to the negligent worker, is usually financially responsible for damages in these cases. Employers are typically responsible for injuries their employees negligently cause during the course and scope of their employment.

Rely on a Tough-Minded King County Lawyer

Schools have a legal responsibility to protect students. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Seattle, contact the Emerald Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.


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