How to Avoid a Lawsuit Against Your Restaurant

Owning a restaurant can be an exhilarating experience. Bringing smiles to peoples' faces with your home cooked comfort food can be very rewarding. However, there are also certain legal liabilities that can come with owning a restaurant that you should be aware of. Protect yourself and your restaurant from the potential of being sued, by arming yourself with information. If you do happen to find yourself, as a restaurant owner, on the receiving end of a lawsuit, consult with an experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here are a few potential legal liabilities you could run into when owning a restaurant.

3 Potential Legal Liabilities a Restaurant Owner Should Know

Liability # 1
Alcohol related issues
There are a number of alcohol related issues you can run into as a restaurant owner, if you serve alcohol, that could potentially result in you being sued. Some examples include:

  • Your customer becoming overly intoxicated and disturbing other customers
  • Customers driving home after being overserved
  • Serving alcohol to minors

One way to attempt prevention of customers driving home intoxicated is by posting local Taxi information.

Liability # 2
Food safety hazards
One of the worst things is a customer getting sick because your food wasn't prepared properly. If you have customers who either get sick or suffered from an allergic reaction from your food, you could be at risk of being sued for a large sum of money. Be sure your kitchen staff is highly trained and make certain your menu clearly states if an item contains possible allergens. There are different measures you can take that can make for a cleaner, safer restaurant. For example:

  • Make sure your trash is taken out regularly.
  • Enforce a hygiene policy to your employees.
  • Make sure your refrigerator is working properly.

Liability # 3
Employee safety hazards
Employee accidents happen. We are all human and no one is perfect. For example, you may have a prep cook cut himself while chopping vegetables or a hostess slip and fall on a wet floor. While nobody wants this to happen, the reality is accidents do happen. This is why it is so important to have Workers Compensation insurance for your employees. According to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:

"In the state of Missouri you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have five or more employees, unless you are in the construction industry, then you must carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employees. Employers that don’t have the required number of employees or who have employees in the exempt categories may “elect” to come under the law and carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exempt employers that decide not to purchase workers compensation insurance or to self-insure remain exposed to civil lawsuits brought by employees who are injured during work. Sole proprietors and partners are not themselves covered unless they elect to be covered; close family member-employees and members of a limited liability company are presumed to be covered unless they opt out."

Need Legal Protection from Your Restaurant Lawsuit?

If you are facing a lawsuit, as a restaurant owner, you should seek the legal guidance of a lawyer in Camden County who knows how to handle this sort of situation. The lawyers at Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter & Welch, P.C. have years of experience in helping businesses, both big and small, with all of their legal needs. We recognize that each business is unique and different, and we will take the time to learn about and understand your business so that we can provide the best possible services and solutions for your legal problem. For a free consultation, call our office at 573-346-7231 or visit us at 85 Court Circle N.W. in Camdenton.

Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising. When you need a knowledgeable attorney, we invite you to contact us to set up a consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. We have access to interpreters.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

85 Court Circle N.W., P.O. Box 559
Camdenton, MO 65020   GET A MAP
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