There is no available public record of anyone in the United States being sued ― or having to pay damages ― because of harms related to donated food, according to Nicole Civita, a professor and director of the Food Recovery Project with the University of Arkansas School of Law and assistant director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College.
Passed in 1996, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects restaurants from civil and criminal liability should a recipient get ill or hurt as a result of consumed donated food. Donors are only culpable in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
““…Lawyers are not interested in sticking it to people who make sure the needy do not starve.”
“As long as no one has acted in a totally reckless or deliberately destructive manner, lawyers are not interested in sticking it to people who make sure the needy do not starve,” Civita wrote in “Food Recovery, Donation, and the Law in Food Waste Across the Supply Chain: A Global Perspective on a US Problem.” “What is more, the very people who depend on donated food – the potential plaintiffs – hesitate to bite the hands that feed them.”