Raw milk is becoming an increasingly popular choice as an alternative to traditional dairy products that have undergone pasteurization. For all of the benefits purportedly associated with consuming raw milk, there are also substantial health risks. In the United Kingdom, for example, an outbreak that led to six confirmed cases of Campylobacter was linked to a raw milk vending machine. The outbreak started in roughly mid-December 2016 and has now resulted in at least 56 cases.
In general, Campylobacter causes over 280,000 instances of food poisoning each year in the United Kingdom, with nearly 75,000 of those cases directly tied to food-related sources. It is also a serious threat to consumers in the United States. Raw milk products can contain a variety of contaminants that can be harmful if consumed. Some of the dangers associated with raw milk from cows, goats, sheep, and other livestock include Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. These illnesses can be severe, often requiring hospitalization and leading to fatalities on occasion. Although the sale of raw milk remains unlawful in many areas, there are some localities that have enacted rules allowing the sale of raw milk in limited situations. For example, many of these laws allow consumers to purchase raw milk products if the consumer travels to the farm where the raw milk is sourced and purchases the raw milk directly from the farm.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of consuming a contaminated food product, you can bring a personal injury claim against the individuals or companies that may be responsible. When it comes to food contamination, there are many parties involved in the production process, including farmers, harvesters, packers, processors, distributors, packaging plants, chefs or cooks, and restaurant staff. According to the negligence doctrine, each of these individuals has a duty to use reasonable care and skill when handling, processing, or serving food. This standard encompasses any applicable health and safety regulations. If the plaintiff can show that the defendant failed to follow an applicable statute or regulation in relation to the food product, the plaintiff will be allowed to assert a rebuttable presumption that the defendant acted negligently.
An injured consumer can also assert a strict product liability claim, which holds companies liable for injuries caused by unreasonably dangerous products. Each state has a slightly different set of requirements that the plaintiff must prove to obtain compensation in a strict product liability claim. Some states require the plaintiff to show that the product in question was more dangerous than a reasonable consumer would presume, or that the alleged risks associated with the product outweigh its purported benefits.
At Moll Law Group, our attorneys have handled Campylobacter claims on behalf of victims throughout the United States. We counsel clients in Illinois, Texas, California, Florida, and elsewhere. Knowing whether or not a specific food product caused your injuries can be difficult to determine. We can help you investigate your potential claim, gather evidence, and retain expert witnesses. To set up your free consultation, call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to get started.