Posted by H. Lee Pruett
Restaurants and other food service providers – and their insurers – need to be aware of Georgia Courts’ liberal application of the “impact rule” in claims of adulterated food.
Generally, before a plaintiff can recover damages for mental pain and suffering, the plaintiff must sustain a physical injury. See, for example, Lee v. State Farm Mutual Ins. Co., 272 Ga. 583 (2000). In this case, the Georgia Supreme Court reiterated the three elements of the rule for recovery of a mental injury: there must be (1) a physical impact, (2) causing a physical injury, and (3) mental suffering arising from the physical injury. The Court went on to expand the rule to allow recovery for the mental suffering of a mother who witnessed the suffering and death of her daughter from an automobile accident. The Court emphasized that the mother herself had sustained physical injuries from the same accident.