How a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter Could End Up Costing a Massachusetts Restaurant Millions

The now infamous McDonald’s “hot coffee” incident seems to have opened up a whole new door for lawsuits regarding neglect from businesses in the food industry. The latest lawsuit involves a family claiming that a Massachusetts based Panera Bread restaurant put peanut butter on the sandwich ordered for their six-year-old daughter. The claim states that was done despite the fact that the parents had specifically stated she was allergic to peanuts in the online order they had placed.

The Russo family from Natick, Massachusetts filed the lawsuit on behalf of their daughter who ended up spending a night in the hospital with discomforts like hives, nausea and vomiting. The lawsuit claims multiple neglectful practices by the individual restaurant. These include engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices, assault and battery, as well as reckless endangerment.

A managing party for the group that owns the restaurant said he was unaware of the lawsuit and a corporate public relations spokesman offered no comment on the matter.

When the girl’s father asked for an explanation from the restaurant as to how the mistake happened, a manager explained to the family that it was a case of miscommunication, or what he called a “language issue”. It was also pointed out to the Russo’s there was a disclaimer on the website they ordered from saying that the restaurant was not responsible for allergens found in their food because of shared preparation equipment.