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Product Liability And Microbial Foodborne Illness

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Author Info

  • Frenzen, Paul D.
  • Buzby, Jean C.
  • Rasco, Barbara

Abstract

This report examines how product liability law treats personal injuries attributed to microbially contaminated foods. The risk of lawsuits stemming from microbial foodborne illness and the resulting court-awarded compensation may create economic incentives for firms to produce safer food. It is not known how many consumers seek compensation for damages from contaminated foods because information about complaints and legal claims involving foodborne illness is not readily accessible, especially for cases that are settled out of court. Reviewing the outcomes of 175 jury trials involving foodborne pathogens, the analysis identifies several factors that influence trial outcomes, while noting that the awards won by plaintiffs tend to be modest.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34059
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Economics Reports with number 34059.

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Length:
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:34059

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Related research

Keywords: foodborne illness; food safety; jury verdict; personal injury; product liability; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

References

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1994. "Product Safety: Liability, R&D and Signaling," Game Theory and Information 9403007, EconWPA, revised 30 Mar 1994.
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  7. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
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  9. Litan, Robert E, 1991. "The Safety and Innovation Effects of U.S. Liability Law: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 59-64, May.
  10. Buzby, Jean C. & Roberts, Tanya & Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan & MacDonald, James M., 1996. "Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses," Agricultural Economics Reports 33991, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  11. W. Kip Viscusi, 1996. "Economic Foundations of the Current Regulatory Reform Efforts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 119-134, Summer.
  12. Golan, Elise H. & Ralston, Katherine L. & Frenzen, Paul D., 1998. "A Distributional Analysis Of The Costs Of Foodborne Illness: Who Ultimately Pays?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(01), July.
  13. Low, Stuart & Smith, Janet Kiholm, 1995. "Decisions to Retain Attorneys and File Lawsuits: An Examination of the Comparative Negligence Rule in Accident Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 535-57, June.
  14. repec:jaa:jagape:v:30:y:1998:i:1:p:69-82 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Tabarrok, Alexander & Helland, Eric, 1999. "Court Politics: The Political Economy of Tort Awards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 157-88, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pouliot, Sebastien & Sumner, Daniel A., 2010. "Traceability, Liability, and Incentives for Food Safety and Quality," Staff General Research Papers 32126, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Just, David R. & Wansink, Brian & Turvey, Calum G., 2009. "Biosecurity, Terrorism, and Food Consumption Behavior: Using Experimental Psychology to Analyze Choices Involving Fear," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(1), April.
  3. Turvey, Calum G. & Onyango, Benjamin M. & Hallman, William K. & Condry, Sarah C., 2007. "Consumers' Perception of Food-System Vulnerability to an Agroterrorist Attack," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 38(3), November.
  4. Ratapol Teratanavat & Victoria Salin & Neal H. Hooker, 2005. "Recall event timing: Measures of managerial performance in U.S. meat and poultry plants," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 351-373.
  5. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Turan, Nesve A. & Gow, Hamish R., 2004. "Firms, Incentives, And The Supply Of Food Safety: A Formal Model Of Government Enforcement," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20343, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Brown, Jennifer & Cranfield, John A.L. & Henson, Spencer J., 2003. "Misassessed Risk In Consumer Valuation Of Food Safety: An Experimental Approach," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22194, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Ollinger, Michael & Mueller, Valerie, 2003. "Managing For Safer Food: The Economics Of Sanitation And Process Controls In Meat And Poultry Plants," Agricultural Economics Reports 33975, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  8. Buzby, Jean C. & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2006. "Private, National, and International Food-Safety Standards," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 37(01), March.
  9. Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith K. & Henson, Spencer J., 2004. "Quantifying The Impact Of Economic Incentives On Firms' Food Safety Responsiveness: The Case Of Red Meat And Poultry Processing Sector In Canada," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20419, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  10. Bailey, DeeVon, 2007. "Political Economy of the U.S. Cattle and Beef Industry: Innovation Adoption and Implications for the Future," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(03), December.
  11. Loureiro, Maria L., 2008. "Liability and food safety provision: Empirical evidence from the US," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 204-211, September.
  12. Lutter, Randall & Mader, Elizabeth A., 2001. "Litigating Lead-Based Paint Hazards: Is It a Solution?," Working paper 71, Regulation2point0.
  13. Starbird, S. Andrew & Amanor-Boadu, Vincent & Roberts, Tanya, 2008. "Traceability, Moral Hazard, and Food Safety," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43840, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  14. Henson, Spencer J. & Hooker, Neal H., 2001. "Private Sector Management Of Food Safety: Public Regulation And The Role Of Private Controls," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 4(01).
  15. Steiner, Bodo, 2006. "Governance Reform of German food safety regulation: Cosmetic or real?," MPRA Paper 26252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Thomsen, Michael R. & Ollinger, Michael & Crandall, Philip G. & O'Bryan, Corliss, 2008. "Mandatory Food Recalls," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6083, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  17. Starbird, S. Andrew & Amanor-Boadu, Vincent, 2004. "Traceability, Inspection, And Food Safety," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20381, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  18. Ragona, Maddalena & Mazzocchi, Mario, 2008. "Measuring the Impacts of Food Safety Regulations: A Methodological Review," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43864, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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