Sunday, December 28, 2003

More on O'Charley's

Last week I wondered why the lawsuit against O'Charley's concerning the Hepatitis A scare was going forward.

Then I read this today, and almost lost my lunch:

Hepatitis blame won't kills suits, lawyers say (Knoxville News Sentinel, 12/28/03)

'The likely Mexican origin of the onions blamed in hepatitis outbreaks probably won't bring dismissal of lawsuits against the U.S. restaurants that served them, lawyers say.

It's really not a defense that someone else sold you the adulterated food," said Sid Gilreath, a Knoxville attorney. "It doesn't relieve you of legal responsibility."


Tennessee law allows a jury to assign percentages of blame to various parties so each has to pay its share.


Nashville attorney Paul Davidson said he believes that because Tennessee law lets juries apportion blame, it's possible O'Charley's will be assigned a smaller part of the fault.'
How any law can exist that would allow any party - individual or company - to assume culpability in a lawsuit when it can be proven they are not responsible...

'"This is not a situation where the restaurant failed to adhere to cleanliness requirements," Davidson told The Tennessean.' beyond belief. Any judge or attorney who allows such a lawsuit to go forward should resign in shame, and this loophole in the law should be changed immediately.

Now, that being said the lawyer being quoted is not officially part of the case. He's simply a Knoxville lawyer being asked his opinion on the case. However, if what he says turns out to be the case, and O'Charley's is forced to defend itself against something it had no control over, it's a travesty.

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