Georgia Food Poisoning Victim’s Burden of Proof May be Lightened

In a recent decision, the Georgia Supreme Court wrote that food poisoning cases do not impose a heavier burden on the plaintiff to show proximate cause at the summary judgment stage than other types of negligence cases. The defendant, Big Kev’s BBQ, argued for a standard that basically required foodborne illness plaintiffs to exclude every other reasonable hypothesis regarding the cause of their illness. The Supreme Court recognized that this was an improperly high burden on foodborne illness victims at the summary judgment stage, and noted that the victims here had presented specific evidence tying their illness (salmonella) to the food prepared by Big Kev’s BBQ.  Patterson v. Kevon LLC dba Big Kev’s Barbecue, Supreme Court of Ga., Dkt. No. S17G1957 (Aug. 20, 2018).

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