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Liability may be on the menu for restaurants

Restaurants open their doors to serve the public. But, like other businesses, restaurants and taverns can face premises liability claims for not taking reasonable steps to protect their diners.

A restaurant’s major product can also be a major source of liability. Customers may fall ill because of food allergies or improperly kept or prepared food. A staff that is not properly-trained in cooking, cleaning and storing food could lead to food-borne illnesses.

Serving liquor is a great revenue source but a heavy responsibility. Restaurants are also liable under Kentucky’s dram shop laws if an obviously-intoxicated patron is served liquor and causes harm, especially in a vehicle. The odds of this occurrence increase when servers are not instructed in recognizing intoxicated customers, overpour, or do not properly ID patrons.

Restaurants may also have a greater probability of slip-and-fall accidents by customers and employees. Dropped food and beverages, broken glass, wet floors in the dining and beverage areas and kitchens, poor organization of refrigerators and storage rooms and other obstructions can lead to accidents. Employees must quickly recognize and clean up any debris or spills that could cause an accident.

Finally, many establishments provide delivery services to customers with their own vehicles. Restaurants may be held liable for injuries to pedestrians, other motorists and their employees for accidents. Drivers who text and drive, speed, drive while impaired or have poor driving records can also increase the businesses’ liability exposure. Restaurants further multiply the risk of liability by improper training or if the speed of delivery is emphasized over safety.

Victims of food poisoning or allergies or other restaurant-related accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. An attorney can investigate their claim and file a personal injury lawsuit.

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