Food-centered lawsuits tend to garner attention. There’s something tantalizing about the combination of typically boring, rigid courtrooms with something as relatable and of the people as food. Who could forget the McDonald’s hot coffee case? Or the trial over Velveeta’s cooking time? Often, these suits become the butt of jokes, the punchline. Who has the time and money to sue over something so frivolous and unimportant? In the Velveeta case, this may be a fair assessment. But not all food-related lawsuits are silly or unfounded, like the case of the woman who slipped on prosciutto.

I have to admit, when I first heard the news of a woman suing Eataly Boston after slipping on a piece of prosciutto and breaking her ankle, I thought it was kind of ridiculous. But after contemplating the matter further, I began to reconsider. Prosciutto is very slippery and hard to see on the ground. Plus, Eataly should be a place of joy. This woman was probably just walking around, excited about all the delicious food, maybe not looking where she was going (couldn’t be me), and then she slips and breaks her ankle. I’ve never broken an ankle, but I hear it’s not fun. To top it all off, she had to pay $7,500 in medical bills (because our healthcare system is broken, but that’s another story). Imagine all the Eataly food she could have bought with that money…it’s truly tragic.

The incident occurred on October 7, 2022, when Alice Cohen was walking to an Eataly area handing out food samples, CNN Business reports. As Cohen was approaching the sample area, she “slipped and fell on a piece of prosciutto on the floor injuring her left ankle resulting in a fracture,” according to the lawsuit. She was trying to get a sample? This makes it even worse. I don’t know about you, but when I’m trying to get free food I’m not paying attention to where I’m going. Don’t get between me and the Trader Joe’s free sample stand, that’s all I’m saying.

Apparently, the lawsuit claims that Eataly failed to ensure the floor was safe and “free from unnecessary dangers,” for patrons, CNN Business reports. This got me thinking about floors (welcome to my brain, it’s a wild ride). Prosciutto would stand out against, say, bright white floors. But if the floor was brown, or red, or tan…forget about it. How could anyone notice a piece of ham practically blending into the floor when there are so many other interesting things to see, smell, and taste?

While it’s unclear which part of Eataly Boston the incident occurred in, a quick Google search confirms that much of the floor is a shade of brown which would not provide much contrast to prosciutto, as you can see in the background of this photo of a delicious looking pistachio gelato. The potential of the prosciutto blending into the floor gives this case even more standing, in my (non-legal) opinion.

What is the lawsuit seeking?

The lawsuit claims negligence and loss of consortium and seeks $50,000 in damages and a jury trial, CNN Business reports. Apparently, loss of consortium means “the right of association and companionship with one's husband or wife.” You learn something new every day. Anyway, $50,000 honestly seems quite reasonable. Especially considering the Velveeta lawsuit asked for $5 mil (and ended up being dismissed).

They say all publicity is good publicity, and Eataly is certainly getting a lot of publicity over this suit. Maybe even $50,000 dollars worth. The reminder that Eataly exists is more than enough for many people. If I were in Eataly’s shoes, I’d pay up and run a prosciutto promotion.