Good Samaritan Legislation
United States legal liability issues
The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects the donor and the recipient agency against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. In addition, each state has passed Good Samaritan Laws that provide liability protection to good faith donors.
Federal Law: The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
In 1996, President Clinton signed into law The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
Why the Emerson Act is important
We served almost 40,000 people in 2013, alone, and 40% of whom were local children. The Fairbanks Community Food Bank was founded in 1982, therefore, we have 32 years of serving this community donated food.
What does the law do?
The law protects good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability, should the product later cause harm to its recipient. The Emerson Act gives uniform federal protection to donors who may cross state lines.
Who is protected?
The law protects food donors, including corporations and individuals, who act in good faith. While exceptions are made for gross negligence, the law states that test groups will not be subject to civil or criminal liability. More specifically, the law protects individuals, corporations, partnerships, organizations, associations, governmental entities, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, farmers, gleaners, nonprofit agencies, and more.
What sort of food is protected?
The Emerson Act provides protection for food and grocery products that meet all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be "readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus or other conditions."