Do I have a claim if I purchased and consumed an expired food item from a store?

UPDATED: Oct 24, 2011

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Do I have a claim if I purchased and consumed an expired food item from a store?

I purchased a bottle of apple juice not knowing the expiration date was past before the date I shopped. My family and I have drunk the whole bottle but we did not get sick or anything. I still have the receipt and the bottle. Do I have a claim?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, as a practical matter you do not have a claim.

That is, legally, if the store was still stocking expired merchandise or food, it may be that they breached their duty of care either carelessly (negligently) or intentionally and could be liable for any resulting injuries.

However, the U.S. legal system is designed to compensate for actual injuries or losses; except in the cases of the most egregious (most awful) conduct, it is very rare to get any compensation or money beyond an amount equivalent to the damage, injuries, or costs you suffered. If you and your family did not get sick--and so did not suffer any injuries--there is nothing to sue for; you could sue, win, and not recovery any money, because there were no damages.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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