Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 11:42 pm
There has been quite a lot of publicity recently concerning outbreaks of bacterial infection caused by contaminated Romaine lettuce as well as contaminated turkey. Victims who have become ill because they ate contaminated food without knowing that it was potentially dangerous have the right to sue the growers or distributors of either of these food products. The same right to take legal action against a contaminated and potentially deadly food product supplier is basically the same as any defective product liability claim. The food should have been safe to sell and if it wasn’t then the supplier or grower, or both, are legally liable for any injury or illness caused. This is just the same as the liability of a car manufacturer that has released a new car brand that has a steering defect.
The lettuce and turkey outbreaks have been quite localized. It is only certain Romaine lettuce suppliers and Jennie-O turkey suppliers that are potentially liable for the illnesses caused to more than 80 people. The contaminated food has led to an infectious outbreak of salmonella and E. coli.
Those who have bought contaminated food products, and have suffered illness after consuming them have experienced a number of characteristic symptoms such as:
- abdominal cramps;
- bloody or watery diarrhea;
If you have eaten something recently, whether it was Romaine lettuce or something else and you have developed any combination of the above symptoms after a few hours, then you should see a doctor, to establish the cause and get treatment. Make sure you retain some of the food that you have eaten which could have had contaminated ingredients and/or any wrapping or labels that came with the food.
The CDC has narrowed the sources of the contaminated lettuce to a number of growers, suppliers and sellers in northern California. According to the CDC there is not one single source of the contaminated lettuce, but several. Several California counties are implicated so far in the contaminated lettuce outbreak.
Over 50 people have become sick in the U.S. and 25 more in Canada. Two have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a form of kidney disease. So far, no-one has been affected here in Texas, but that could just be a matter of time. The illness has affected people from 15 U.S. states so far.
Proving liability in a contaminated food case
It can be hard identifying exactly where contaminated food came from and who was involved in its supply. In some cases, the source may be identified quite quickly as there may only be a single supplier. In the case of the Romaine lettuce contamination, as the CDC have discovered, there are multiple sources involved, which does make it more difficult to prove liability. The FDA advises anyone wishing to buy fresh food like lettuce to check the date of harvest and location of the grower as well as other information first. The FDA suggests that consumers should avoid buying any vegetables like lettuce in a supermarket to think twice if that information is absent.
Help from an experienced product defect attorney can make it easier to identify those whose negligence has resulted in untimely illness and provide assistance to anyone contemplating legal action. Contact the Patino Law Office in McAllen, if you or a member of your family has been suffering from contaminated food or defective products of any kind. You can contact one of our attorneys at 956-631-3535.