The Consequences of Laxative Poisoning: Legal Trouble for the Lunch Thief Trap?

When it comes to dealing with a lunch thief at work, some people might resort to unconventional methods to catch the culprit. One such method, as seen in a recent case, involved a coworker poisoning his lunch with laxatives. However, this plan backfired when the thief ended up in the emergency room. This raises the question: how much legal trouble could the coworker be in for his actions? This article will explore the potential consequences of laxative poisoning, focusing on the legal implications of such an act.

While it might seem like a harmless prank or a justified act of revenge, poisoning someone’s food, even with something as seemingly benign as a laxative, can have serious legal consequences. In many jurisdictions, this act could be considered assault or battery, both of which are serious crimes.

Assault and Battery

Assault is defined as the intentional act of causing apprehension of harmful or offensive contact, or intentionally causing physical injury to another person. Battery, on the other hand, is the actual physical impact on another person. If the person who consumed the laxative-laced food suffered physical harm, the person who laced the food could potentially be charged with either of these crimes.


Depending on the jurisdiction, the act of poisoning someone’s food could also be considered a separate crime. This could be the case even if the substance used is not typically considered a poison. In this context, a laxative could potentially be considered a harmful substance.

Potential Defenses

While the legal implications of laxative poisoning are serious, there are potential defenses that could be used in such a case. However, the success of these defenses would largely depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred.

One potential defense could be that the person who consumed the food knew, or should have known, that it was laced with a laxative. However, this defense would likely be difficult to prove, especially in a situation where the food was stolen.

Lack of Intent

Another potential defense could be that the person who laced the food did not intend to cause harm. However, this defense would also likely be difficult to prove, especially if the person admitted to lacing the food with the intent of catching a thief.

In conclusion, while it might be tempting to take matters into your own hands when dealing with a lunch thief, it’s important to consider the potential legal consequences. Instead, it might be better to report the issue to your employer or seek other non-legal remedies.

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