Grinding out the caseToday we will answer a question about an allergic reaction to what is assumed to be linked to the ingredients in a tea bag. But not so fast on drawing that conclusion, because we first need proof, which of course may not exist. Let’s make you, the reader, the jury. And you tell me what you would do with this case.

Question: Can I sue a tea company for a tea bag allergy reaction?

Question Detail: The box of tea says that is gluten free; there are no ingredients on the box or warnings to any allergic reaction that it can cause. I have never been allergic to anything in my life but when I touched the tea bag after using it for the drink and placed the bag on my eyes my eyes started getting swollen. I thought I was getting tired and then a half hour to an hour later I started getting like a rash or hives on my arm. I didn't think anything from it as well I just thought it was weird. Went to bed and woke up swollen on my entire face and a body full of hives. I ended up going to the hospital to get treated after meds didn't work. Can I sue them? Please let me know what I can do.

Good science = believable evidence = third leg of this four legged tort law stool; you must ask, "What is the proximate cause?"

Answer: Your question is a prime example of what not to do in any personal injury case. You're making an assumption you can't make or at least lack any evidence to make. From what you've stated, there is no scientific link between the contents of the teabag and your body's reaction.

Do you have the teabag? Have you had it tested? What was in the tea bag? Which ingredient did your body react to? What did the doctors state is your diagnosis? Does the medical profession link the contents of the tea bag to your body's reaction? Without those opinions and test results you've got nadda, zilch, zippo. Don't guess and don't assume, because when you ASSUME you make an "AssUMe". That's how they taught this concept to many law school students.

When you assume you make an ass of you and me.

Let’s go back to the basics. To prove a tort the law requires us to prove proximate cause. At the very least that will require a breakdown of the ingredients in the tea, a diagnosis, a medical opinion as to your body’s reaction to that ingredient, and a medical opinion linking to two. Without a medical opinion as to the diagnosis and causation of the reaction; means we lose. 

These principles apply to every type and kind of tort case. [Personal injury cases]

Image: I took this image of an old style combine, grinds the corn kernels off of the cob.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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