When Can Restaurants Be Responsible for Illness and Injury?

Nobody expects that they will sustain an injury or illness when they go to a restaurant. However, we know that there are certainly times when patrons of restaurants sustain some sort of injury or illness, and these incidents are often caused by the careless or negligent actions of the restaurant owner/operators. Here, we want to look at certain situations where restaurants (the owners) may be held responsible for causing injuries or illnesses to those who come onto the premises. In general, we will see these become premises liability cases, which means we have to examine the duty of care that restaurant owners and operators owe their guests.

Accidents That Can Cause Injuries or Illnesses in a Portland Restaurant

Owners and operators of restaurants in Portland and throughout Oregon have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for those who have a right to be there. This includes the actual dining area as well as the entire premises around the restaurant. Additionally, restaurant owners and operators have the added responsibility of ensuring the safe storage and preparation of foods and beverages to ensure that their guests do not become ill when they consume anything.

Unfortunately, there are various ways that injuries and illnesses can occur at restaurants in Oregon. First, we want to look at what most people think about when they hear about injuries or illnesses at restaurants – food poisoning. Yes, restaurant owners and operators have a duty to ensure that all food is stored properly, prepared appropriately, and served in a manner that ensures guest safety.

In addition to food poisoning, restaurant owners and operators must ensure that the plates and glasses that they used do not cause harm to their patrons. This includes giving warnings to patrons if the glasses or plates are particularly hot as well as regularly inspecting plates and glasses for any chips or loose pieces.

Finally, we need to examine other common causes of injuries on a restaurant’s premises. This can include the following:

  • Spills of food or drink that create slip and fall hazards
  • Poorly lit dining rooms or outside parking lots that lead to fall hazards
  • Crowded dining rooms that create hazardous situations for guests when trying to get to and from their seats
  • Decorations or displays inside of a restaurant that could fall and cause injuries

Restaurant Liability in These Situations

It may certainly be possible to hold restaurant owners responsible for injuries or illnesses caused by unsafe property conditions or unsafe/contaminated foods. In these situations, it is important to understand that restaurant owners and operators do owe a duty of care to those who have a right to be at the restaurant. The goal of an attorney in a restaurant premises liability case will be to show that the owner or operator breached the duty of care they owed to their patron and that the patron sustained an injury or illness caused by the breach of duty.

Any person who sustained an injury or illness caused by the breach of duty may be able to obtain compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. A skilled premises liability attorney in Portland will conduct a complete investigation into the incident in an effort to determine exactly what happened.