Can someone sue you because you gave them hot sauce?

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Can someone sue you because you gave them hot sauce?

I let someone try hot sauce that I bought and later he went to the doctor because his stomach hurt. He didn’t have much of it less then a tea spoon. Would he be able to sue me?

Asked on July 6, 2014 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Even if he suffered some injury or illness for which he could compensation--and a short-term stomach  ache is *not* something that supports receiving compensation--you'd only be  liable if you had been "at fault" in some way. In a situation like this, that would mean either:

1) Intentionally giving him hot sauce which you knew would hurt him (such as for revenge or a prank gone wrong), such as hot sauce which you  had doctored to be *extra* hot or otherwise altered in such a way as to upset his system (or bought an extra hot, etc. commercial cause, but deliberately changed the label or bottle so he wouldn't know what he was having); or

2) Negligently, or unreasonably carelessly, gave him something which a reasonable person would not have--such as the first batch of your homemade sauce which you had not tested for its strength or taste; or hot sauce which was long past it's expiration.

Assuming you did neither of the above and your friend just happened to have a bad reaction or stomach ache (which includes if he was allergic to an ingredient, but hadn't warned you, so you had no reason to take care about it), then you would not be at fault, and with no fault, should not be liable--and again, even if you were liable, from what you write, he did not suffer the kind of injury that supports compensation.


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