Estate of Kriefall v. Sizzler USA Franchise, Inc.Annotate this Case
The questions before the Supreme Court in this case stemmed from damages sustained because of food contaminated by E. coli pathogens at two Sizzler Steak House restaurants. The plaintiffs in the underlying actions settled years ago, and the claims before the Court related to the apportionment of liability and costs among those who were defendants in the underlying actions. The defendants included Sizzler and Excel corporation, which processed and distributed the contaminated meat that was source of the E. coli pathogens. Among the plaintiffs was the estate of Brianna Kreifall, who died from the contaminated food. The court of appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the circuit court. The Supreme Court affirmed on all issues, holding, inter alia, that (1) Sizzler was entitled to recover consequential damages for Excel's breach of implied warranties in the parties' meat supply contract; (2) Sizzler was entitled to indemnity from Excel for the entirety of Sizzler's advance partial payment to the Kriefall family; and (3) notwithstanding the jury's determination that Sizzler was zero percent responsible for the E. coli contaminated food, Sizzler may not recover attorney fees from Excel because the exception to the American Rule did not apply here.