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Member Sickened from Food at Church Banquet Not Allowed to Sue Caterer

While the church wasn’t named in lawsuit, churches should note the potential liability they could face if accused of negligence.

Key point 10-01. Negligence is conduct that creates an unreasonable risk of foreseeable harm to the person or property of another, and which results in the foreseeable harm. The important point is that negligence need not be intentional. It includes conduct that is simply careless, heedless, or inadvertent. A person who kills a pedestrian while texting on a cellphone did not intend to kill the victim, but nonetheless may be liable for monetary damages in a civil lawsuit based on negligence.

A federal appeals court ruled that a woman who became violently ill after consuming shellfish prepared by a hotel caterer for a church banquet could not sue for her injuries.


A female church member (the “plaintiff”) suffered an allergic reaction after eating a meal prepared by a hotel caterer for a church’s annual banquet hosted at the hotel’s conference center.

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  • July 5, 2022

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