Overview

Thompson Hine’s multidisciplinary food industry lawyers provide comprehensive counsel and representation to a wide variety of clients. Our product liability litigation attorneys advise manufacturers, distributors and retailers on issues unique to the industry, ranging from government regulations and advertising laws to allegations of contaminated, adulterated or misbranded food products, and our environmental lawyers address pesticide and other contamination issues relevant to the food industry.

We advise food industry clients on a variety of regulatory issues, including the interplay of FDA, USDA and EPA regulations governing the production, distribution and promotion of human and animal food products, including food ingredients, food additives, food contact substances and dietary supplements. Our primary focus is providing practical advice to help clients reach their commercial and operational goals while complying with the law.

Experience
Representative Food Industry Litigation and Regulatory Counseling Experience
  • Representing a microwavable sandwich seller against a putative class action based on alleged slack fill.
  • Representing a cheese importer against a putative class action based on “natural” labeling claim.
  • Defending a convenience food franchisor against a food poisoning claim.
  • Counseling a food flavoring manufacturer in a commercial breach of warranty dispute with a berry supplier.
  • Representing and advising a food manufacturer in connection with a nationwide recall of frozen food product alleged to be contaminated with salmonella.
  • Defending a food manufacturer in a nationwide class action related to the sale of food containing partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat), resulting in dismissal with prejudice.
  • Representing a food manufacturer in state and federal courts in cases alleging respiratory illness as a result of exposure to food flavoring.
  • Defending a food manufacturer in federal and state courts in cases alleging foodborne illness and foreign object contamination.
  • Defending a class action for a food establishment cited as the point of origin of a Hepatitis A outbreak.
  • Defending a wrongful death claim that resulted in summary judgment on behalf of a local seafood restaurant whose customer contracted a rare viral infection after consuming a raw oyster.
  • Defending a major agricultural and food company against allegations that its product caused personal injury because it was unfit for human consumption and adulterated.
  • Handling a contaminated bulk cheese case for a major packaged food company. The allegation was regarding the delivery to a major pizza food chain of bulk cheese that had been contaminated with chlorine.
  • Counseling a cheese distributor in connection with a recall conducted by its supplier.
  • Assisting a large commercial cooking operation in a very significant air permitting matter.
  • Counseling on EPA matters with respect to food producers and cooking operations, involving both air and wastewater emissions.
  • Representing a dairy farm in connection with USDA and EPA regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Defending an egg farm in an EPA enforcement action arising out of a claim of improper discharge of wastewater into a stream.