Gleaning (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Harvesting for free distribution to the needy, or for donation to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to the needy, an agricultural crop that has been donated by the owner.
Gleaning raises legal liability issues, especially with respect to the quality of the food donated and any harmful effects that may come from donated food. A group of statutes known as Good Samaritan laws are meant to encourage the donation of food and groceries to nonprofit charitable agencies by minimizing the number of legal actions against donors and distributors of foods.
Prior to 1990, every state and the District of Columbia had some form of statutory protection from liability for charitable food donation and distribution. These statutes were exceptions to the COMMON LAW or statutory rule of STRICT LIABILITY for distributing food or any other defective product that causes injury. The statutes vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some provide liability only for gleaners' or donors' gross negligence or intentional acts, while others provide liability for mere NEGLIGENCE. Others limit liability if the donor reasonably inspects the donated food at the time the donor makes the donation and has no actual or constructive knowledge of any defective condition....
(The entire section is 678 words.)
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