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Food Law

Through our extensive experience, Walsworth’s lawyers have developed specialized knowledge in and an understanding of the litigation issues unique to the food industry, including those related to food safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), labeling and advertising, inspections and regulatory enforcement.

Our firm represents food and dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers in litigation including:

  • Recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks
  • Consumer fraud class actions
  • Labeling challenges
  • Government enforcement actions
  • Supply chain disputes

We work with our clients to help them understand how their businesses are affected by and work within the complex system of applicable laws, rules and regulations, including but not limited to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), HACCP and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP). We also have experience working with food labeling issues that include the use of phrases such as “all natural”, “non-GMO” and “organic”. We apply this knowledge to our clients’ businesses to identify applicable defenses to claims against them and to counsel them on future risk avoidance.

Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the pathology and treatment of commonly encountered food borne illnesses. Through our years of experience, we have cultivated strong working relationships with experts in the appropriate fields to develop the best defense for our clients.

We also have established close working relationships with consultants in a variety of food-related industries that we use to help counsel our clients and, when necessary, defend them against claims and regulatory actions.

Representative Successes

  • Kelly v. McDonald’s Corporation – Favorable jury verdict in a strict product liability and negligence trial arising out of a food product contaminated with a blood-stained bandage with claims of fear of contracting HIV illness.
  • Julio Pichardo v. A Multinational Retailing Corporation – Favorable resolution of claim brought by adult and minor plaintiffs against nationwide retailer alleging they were sold spoiled pre-packaged food.
  • Michael Gallagher v. Silver Grill Location Catering, Inc. and Cameron McCormick v. S&G Catering, Inc. – Favorable resolution of claim brought by numerous plaintiffs against a food catering company who claimed the company was in the stream of commerce of contaminated lettuce.
  • Represented a large, privately-held San Francisco corporation in handling an international product recall, defending against recall-related lawsuits brought by consumers and other companies, and securing insurance coverage for the recall, defense, indemnity and property damage.