Pace v. StateAnnotate this Case
The mother of a kindergarten student, who suffered a serious allergic reaction after consuming peanut butter given to her under her school's free lunch program, brought suit against the State and its agents (collectively, Defendants), alleging that the State's obligations under the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) imposed upon Defendants a statutory duty of care to ensure that children with food allergies are not served lunches containing allergens. The trial court granted the State Defendants' motion to dismiss, concluding that the NSLA simply establishes a subsidized lunch program to benefit children at participating schools and does not impose a specific statutory duty of care towards children with food allergies. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the NSLA does not impose a statutory duty on the State Defendants to exercise a greater degree of care for students with food allergies than the general level of care the State Defendants exercise for all students in public schools. Because Petitioner could not maintain a suit in negligence, the complaint was properly dismissed.