By Mark Sweet, ESQ.

Last night the MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) were handed out.  While there were some “shocking” images (besides the fact the Jersey Shore kids remain popular and Cher came out in something that no one wants to see a 60 year old woman in), Lady Gaga’s fashion choice stole the show.  For those that don’t know Lady Gaga, she’s a singer (and I use that term loosely) of several popular songs including Alejandro, Telephone and Just Dance, and she’s known for dressing in somewhat strange outfits.  From a Saturday Night Love skit involving her covered in bubbles, to an outfit she couldn’t even see out of.Lady Gage Courtesy of

Background Information

 However, last night, she came decked out in what can only be described as a “meat dress.”  The dress included meat shoes, a meat purse, and some sort of meat hat.  Now, I am sure she had some reason to dress this way (cough, attention), but in terms of legal issues, she might be in trouble.  Not only has she drawn the ire of PETA, but the fact that someone was dressed in raw meat for several hours could be a health code violation.

FDA Dangers of Raw Meat

 First, the VMAs were held at L.A. Live (in the Nokia Theater) in Los Angeles.  So this potential violation would fall under California law.  However, it does not appear that Lady Gaga was selling or serving the meat to anyone (I truly hope this is the case).  If she were to sell the meat or serve it, then this would be a clear violation of the county health code requiring sanitary conditions.  According to the FDA, the danger zone for meat would be between 40 and 120 degrees.  The temperature in Los Angeles was about 70 degrees, so it is safe to assume the meat was kept somewhere between 40 and 120 degrees. The maximum amount of time to leave the food out would be between 1-2 hours, the show lasted for much longer than that.

A Battery?

So if the meat suit has gone bad (or rancid), what does this mean?  Outside of the incredibly unpleasant odor that would be coming from this suit, there are issues with the seat she was in.  First, knowingly wearing a rather offensive and smelly dress to the VMAs could potentially be deemed a battery because she knowingly created a harmful or offensive contact with those around her.  If someone were a famous strict vegan and were slapped in some fashion by the meat dress, they could have a claim for battery.

This Can't Be Hygenic

 Finally, rancid raw meat tends to transmit e-coli and salmonella. Again, assuming she didn’t attempt to feed anyone her dress, what about the actual seat she was sitting in or anything she brushed up against?  Unless her seat, armrest, and anything else she might have had contact with was properly sterilized there is the potential that these germs could spread.  If someone were to get sick because of the meat dress, they would likely have a claim not only against Lady Gaga but also against the owners and operators of the Nokia Theater.

 So what do you think?  She is crying out for attention? This is a cool idea?  She should donate the dress to charity or a homeless shelter? Let us know what you think!