Individuals can sue fast restaurants for many different reasons. Fast food restaurants are usually franchised units or owned outright by larger corporate chains, providing a financial base that a person filing a lawsuit can target to recover damages. Fast food restaurants have large customer bases and employ many people, so they are vulnerable to a greater number of lawsuits than smaller or independently owned restaurants.
- Slip and Fall: Fast food restaurants often have tile floors that can withstand high traffic. They must be frequently washed in order to meet cleanliness, health and safety standards. This means they have to get wet during the course of the business hours. This poses a risk to customers who will slip and fall if they encounter a wet patch of slick tile floor. Restaurants are required to post “wet floor” signs in order to warn customers of the danger of the wet floor. If they do not do this, they can be held liable in the event of customer injury that occurred because of a fall. Employees also need to warn each other of dangerous slick conditions in the work area.
- Negligence: Negligence claims are filed when employees or customers can prove that management or ownership have not taken reasonable care to prevent injury. In order to prove a negligence claim, it must first be established that the accused party had a duty of care that was then breached.
Product liability claims are extremely common in fast food lawsuits. Since fast food restaurants serve so many people and deal in such a high volume of business each day, the risks for serving food that has been accidentally contaminated is much higher than it is for small independently owned restaurants.
In some cases, food products have been found to contain foreign objects, dangerous or hazardous materials such as glass, or unsanitary items such as band aids or hair. Vegetarians have sued fast food restaurants because they discovered animal products were used in the cooking oil of otherwise vegetarian foods.
Fast food restaurants can also face claims over food allergies. Ingredient lists must be comprehensive to allow people with allergies to avoid consuming foods that will make them sick.
If you have been made ill, been injured, or fallen in a fast food restaurant, you should consult a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can advise you of your legal options and help you form the best possible case.