A federal court in California recently dismissed with prejudice a claim against a school district and some of its personnel filed by the parents of a child with an allergy to nuts; they alleged that the defendants threatened harm to the child by refusing to keep him in a nut free environment, which threat was undertaken to discourage the parents from exercising a legal right, i.e., requesting accommodations for him, in violation of state law. McCue v. S. Fork Union Elementary Sch., No. 10-00233 (E.D. Cal., decided February 7, 2011).

The parents also alleged harm from an unspecified person giving the child a peanut butter cookie. Because the third amended complaint did not allege all of the facts needed to state a claim under the law and because “[s]erving a child a peanut butter cookie is not an inherently violent act,” the court concluded that the complaint did not allege an act of violence or threat of violence against the child. This claim was dismissed with prejudice because it had not addressed the same claim’s deficiencies as pleaded in the parents’ second amended complaint. Other challenged claims can be amended and may proceed.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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