Bylsma v. Burger King Corp.Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals certified a question to the Washington Supreme Court in this case. A Clark County deputy sheriff sought to proceed to trial and recover damages from Burger King Corporation under the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) on a claim that he suffered ongoing emotional distress from discovering he was served a burger with phlegm inside the bun. Specifically, the issue was whether, in the absence of physical injury, the WPLA permits relief for emotional distress damages caused by being served and touching, but not consuming, the contaminated food product. The Supreme Court concluded that the WPLA permits relief in such circumstances, provided that the emotional distress is a reasonable reaction and "manifest by objective symptomatology."