A multi-state outbreak of listeria linked to frozen vegetables has led to many illnesses and even fatalities, spurring officials at the Centers for Disease Control and state public health leaders to conduct an investigation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also gotten involved. Reports indicate that eight individuals have been infected with Listeria across three states: Washington, California, and Maryland. The individuals who lost their lives as a result of the contamination resided in Maryland and Washington.
The frozen vegetables likely responsible for the outbreak have been traced back to CRF Frozen Foods, based in Pasco, Washington. The vegetables are sold under a variety of brand names. The company initiated the first recall on April 23, 2016, covering 11 types of frozen vegetable products. Then, on May 2, 2016, the recall was expanded to encompass all of the organic and regular frozen fruit and vegetable products that it processed at the Pasco facility from May 1, 2014, onward. This expanded recall covered over 350 products that are marketed under more than 40 different brand names and sold in the U.S. and Canada.
Listeria is a serious bacterial pathogen that can cause grave health complications for anyone infected. Symptoms of a Listeriosis infection include diarrhea, muscle pain, and gastrointestinal distress. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, posing risks of stillbirth, miscarriage, premature birth, or life-threatening infections for the newborn and mother. Children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems are also at a heightened risk of being susceptible to Listeriosis infections.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of consuming contaminated food, you can bring a lawsuit against the grower, processor, distributor, or retailer to recover compensation. Each individual or company in the food production system has a duty to use reasonable care when handling, transporting, and storing food items and to ensure that the food is not unreasonably dangerous to consumers. State and federal governments impose a number of safety requirements on food producers. Most states recognize the negligence per se doctrine. Under this rule, if the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant failed to comply with these regulations, he or she will be entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the defendant acted negligently.
Another common cause of action asserted in food contamination cases is strict product liability. Under this theory, the plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant acted negligently. Instead, the plaintiff must only establish that the product was unreasonably dangerous as designed or manufactured. The plaintiff can also establish an unreasonable danger by showing that the defendant failed to provide appropriate instructions or warnings regarding the product’s foreseeable intended use.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of consuming contaminated food, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our professional and knowledgeable food contamination lawyers have assisted victims throughout the United States, including in New York, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. We offer a free consultation to help you determine the legal options that may be available to you and your family. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.