Proposed Law Would Limit Liability for Food Donors in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Proposed Law Would Limit Liability for Food Donors in Delaware

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DOVER, Del. -- A proposed law in Delaware would no longer make food donors like hunters who give to the Sportsmen Against Hunger program subject to civil or criminal penalties for general liability in the event someone gets sick from their donation or worse.

The House bill was pre-filed in the General Assembly last week and would offer the same protection would be given to people who donate food to nonprofit organizations and weren't grossly negligent.

State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (R-Clayton) said the legislation would help organizations like the Food Bank of Delaware and other food donation programs because some participants are worried about liability on donated goods that make someone ill but otherwise appeared to be fine for consumption.

"Gross negligence is categorized as essentially, you knew something was wrong and you donated it anyway," he said.

A similar bill was not passed in the previous legislative session, though Spiegelman said he is hopeful the current version will be passed. He said the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association raised concerns about the earlier bill, though a legislative representative from the group would not comment on the new bill because it had not been examined yet.

Dwayne Nickerson, owner of D&J Custom Cutting in Hartly, is one of the butchers who participates in the Sportsmen Against Hunger program. He said his shop wouldn't donate any food the staff wouldn't eat themselves but said he didn't know yet if he would support the legislation.

"I think the state still needs to have a hand in where these animals are being processed to ensure product quality," he said.

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