Bad Chicken Wings: Who to Sue If You Get Sick

By Jeffrey Charles

It can happen at any time. You go to a bar with some friends to watch your favorite team play their longtime rivals. You order your favorite: Buffalo wings with bleu cheese dressing. After enjoying the night with your friends, you notice that you have the symptoms of salmonella. Obviously, the wings you ate caused you to get sick. Who is to blame? This article will discuss the potential parties that could be liable if you become ill from food prepared by a restaurant.

Figuring out what parties are potentially responsible for your illness can be tricky. Even so, it is essential to your case that you identify each party that may have had a hand in your getting sick.

The Chain of Distribution

Typically, when you have an injury that is the result of a defective product like bad chicken wings, you need to take a look at every party that is a part of the chain of distribution. The chain of distribution can be defined as the path a product follows from the manufacturer to the customers.

When it comes to wings, the chain of distribution can be as follows:

  • Manufacturer – the company that manufactures the chicken product.
  • Distributor – the company that sells the product to the retailer, the restaurant.
  • Retailer – the company that sells the product to you, the consumer.

The manufacturer, distributor, and retailer are all possible defendants in your case. When you have a personal injury that is the result of a bad product, all parties who were involved in getting that product into your hands could be potential defendants.

The manufacturer is the company that is at the very beginning of the chain of distribution. In this case, it is the company that is responsible for processing the chickens that the wings are taken from.

When it comes to chicken wings, there are two ways you can buy them: cooked, or uncooked. If the manufacturer sells and labels the product as “raw,” it is understood by both the distributor and the retailer that the wings are not cooked. This means it is the responsibility of the retailer to make sure they are properly cooked before serving them to the consumer.

If the manufacturer processes the chickens and cooks them, then it is sold to the distributor as a cooked product. This means that when the distributor sells the product to the retailer, they too believe the product to be cooked.

In this instance, if someone gets sick due to undercooked wings, the manufacturer and the retailer could possibly be held liable; the manufacturer because they didn’t cook the meat all the way, and the retailer because they didn’t cook it properly at their facility.

If you happen to get sick from eating food that was not handled properly, it may be the fault of multiple parties. You will need to take a look at the chain of distribution to see which parties should be held responsible. Consult with a personal injury attorney to help you identify the parties that are liable.

1 reply
  1. fiona
    fiona says:

    Yes, I feel the Manufacture, Distributor and Retailer are all liable but what about the cook that handles the food. their hands may not be clean or may not wear glove like the above article says, All that handle the food are liable. In a situation like this, does one sue the restaurant or each individual that’s involved with the food. It’s unfortunate that this often occurs and we the people need to take more caution about where we eat: don’t continue to eat at the restaurant you became ill from.


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