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Product Liability And Microbial Foodborne Illness

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Frenzen, Paul D. & Buzby, Jean C. & Rasco, Barbara, 2001. "Product Liability And Microbial Foodborne Illness," Agricultural Economics Reports 34059, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:34059
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. 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.
    3. Nesve A. Turan Brewster & Peter D. Goldsmith, 2007. "Legal systems, institutional environment, and food safety," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 23-38, January.
    4. 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).
    5. 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.
    6. Zijun Wang & Victoria Salin & Neal Hooker & David Leatham, 2002. "Stock market reaction to food recalls: a GARCH application," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(15), pages 979-987.
    7. S├ębastien Pouliot & Daniel A. Sumner, 2008. "Traceability, Liability, and Incentives for Food Safety and Quality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(1), pages 15-27.
    8. 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).
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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).
    12. 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).
    13. 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.
    14. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum & Hu, Wuyang & Ying, Ruiyao, 2015. "Fear and Trust: How Risk Perceptions of Avian Influenza Affect the Demand for Chicken," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 202077, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Jennifer Brown & John A. L. Cranfield & Spencer Henson, 2005. "Relating Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Food Safety to Risk Tolerance: An Experimental Approach," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(2-3), pages 249-263, June.
    18. 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.
    19. 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 (IFAMA), vol. 4(01).
    20. Steiner, Bodo, 2006. "Governance Reform of German food safety regulation: Cosmetic or real?," MPRA Paper 26252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. 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.
    22. S. Andrew Starbird, 2007. "Testing errors, supplier segregation, and food safety," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 325-334, May.

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