Foodborne Illness Litigation


There is growing media interest in the realm of food product claims and issues. There have been recent outbreaks associated with tomatoes, green onions and even peanut butter. Butler, Vines and Babb’s food liability litigation team understands the great importance of these cases. We have worked with our clients not only to defend claims, but also to build a strategy to protect the company and the brand from future lawsuits.

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Phone: 865-637-3531


Butler, Vines and Babb’s attorneys have experience in the law, the economics, and the science of food liability litigation. We have handled a multitude of foodborne illness cases ranging from Hepatitis A to E. coli.

Along with our knowledge and experience, we have established relationships with leading experts in foodborne illnesses and professional organizations associated with outbreak response. We have worked closely with epidemiologists and state and local agencies involved in food safety (FDA, USDA and CDC).

In September 2009, Butler, Vines, and Babb attorney James C. Wright was invited to lecture at the 4th Annual Food Safety Symposium sponsored by Nation’s Restaurant News and Ecolab. Mr. Wright lectured on the topic of “Foodborne Illness-Prevention & Crisis Management”. Fifty corporate representatives were present representing over $50 billion in annual sales.

The firm represents a number of food manufacturers as well as restaurants. Representative cases related to food liability handled by Butler, Vines and Babb are:

  • Successfully defended a grower in California in the largest outbreak of Hepatitis A in the State of Tennessee. Over 55 cases were filed in Tennessee and successfully defended.
  • Successfully defended E. coli claims
  • Successfully defended multiple/outbreak claims
  • Successfully defended object in food product/container claims

It is important in these cases, that from the very beginning they are treated as if they will go to trial. Nevertheless, the attorneys at Butler, Vines and Babb also understand the importance of disposing of these cases as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Our attorneys took the lead in convincing numerous plaintiffs’ lawyers in Tennessee involved in the Hepatitis A outbreak to mediate their cases to settlement. Mediation took place over a month with daily protracted negotiations until the cases were resolved on a favorable basis for our client. We are familiar with the Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices which are incorporated in both retail and dining establishments. Butler, Vines and Babb attorneys who practice in the area of foodborne illnesses are James C. Wright and Edward U. Babb.

Our food liability litigation team is ready to work for you. Contact us for an appointment at 865-637-3531

The following lawyers are experienced in foodborne illness defense: James C. Wright and Edward U. Babb.