Ohio Personal Injury Blog by Cincinnati Accident Attorney Anthony Castelli

Archive for the ‘Food illnesses’ Category

Food Born Illness United States Outbreak The Law

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The second-deadliest food-borne illness outbreak ever in the United States and the first to involve whole, raw fruits or vegetables has led to 28 deaths and scores of illnesses nationwide. The alleged cause: eating listeria monocytogenes-tainted cantaloupe. Several lawsuits have been filed against a Colorado grower, distributors, and grocery stores.

The FDA is investigating why  and how could it have happened that 28 people have died in one of the deadliest  United States food borne illness outbreaks

A rare bacterial infection with flu-like symptoms is called Listeriosis . It primarily affects people with compromised immune systems, such as older adults, pregnant women, and infants, and it can be deadly.

Plaintiffs Charles Palmer and his wife, Tammy, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, were among the first to file suit. According to the complaint they filed in state court, Palmer was stricken by listeria and hospitalized in intensive care after consuming Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupe, which he purchased from Walmart.

William Marler of Seattle, who represents the Palmers and several other families affected by the outbreak, said the number of deaths and illnesses CDC has reported is only the “tip of the iceberg.” The CDC said it expected reports of new illnesses to mount even though the Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupe was recalled from stores back in September. It can take up to two months after eating food contaminated with listeria for someone to become ill, the CDC said.

Marler expressed concern that, because of this lag, people may die and women may have miscarriages that are related to listeria without knowing that they should test for listeriosis. “There are a lot of people who have potentially died from listeriosis and no autopsy was performed,” he said. “The same thing goes for miscarriages. There are going to be a number of miscarriages out there where the parents or the hospitals don’t conduct any testing on the fetuses to determine if listeria was to blame.”

An FDA investigation concluded that the Jensen Farms cantaloupe likely were contaminated with listeria in a packing facility, where they were washed, packaged, and stored before distribution. Listeria thrives in cool and damp conditions, which is how FDA investigators described the packing facility’s environment. Investigators also found that neither the facility floor nor the packing equipment was easily cleanable and cantaloupe still warm from the field weren’t precooled before being refrigerated, allowing condensation to form on the skin, which promoted the bacteria’s growth. These facts were reported and commented on by the american association of trial lawyers

If you think you ate some contaminated food of any kind you should get immediate medical attention. Legally in Ohio sellers of adulterated food are strictly liable for injury or illness caused by the contaminated food. Under Ohio revised code 3715.59 you may be able to recover money compensation for your injury.

It is also critical that you preserve any of the left over food and any evidence of purchase. As a  Cincinnati personal injury lawyer I can answer your questions about food borne illness

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