When individuals eat, they expect the food to be healthy and safe for consumption. Unfortunately, contaminated food can make its way into grocery stores and restaurants without anyone realizing it until it is too late. For example, last month a large food company voluntarily recalled around 200,000 pounds of hard-boiled and peeled eggs after they were linked to a listeria outbreak. According to a prominent news source covering the recall, the outbreak affected five states, including Pennsylvania which borders Maryland. As a result, one individual died and four were hospitalized.
Officials from the Food and Drug Administration discovered listeria during a routine inspection of the food company’s facility. Listeria causes fever, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and stiffness, and typically those who eat contaminated food show symptoms one to four weeks afterward. The resulting illness can be severe, and sometimes deadly: about 260 people die from it each year, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When individuals get ill or suffer premature death as a result of eating contaminated food, a voluntary recall of the product is too little, too late. While the recall may prevent others from being harmed from the product, it does not help the victims and their families, who may have accumulated large medical expenses. However, Maryland law provides an avenue for these individuals to recover against the food company through civil suits. Those directly harmed and/or their families may be able to bring a negligence claim against the food manufacturer. To be successful in these claims, the plaintiff typically must show that the manufacturer had a duty to ensure that the food was safe, that the manufacturer breached their duty either through an act or an omission, that the manufacturer’s breach caused the plaintiff’s illness, and that the plaintiff suffered real damages as a result.
While proving those elements may seem relatively straightforward, in practice they rarely are. Food manufacturers are often large corporations with high profit margins who invest significantly in legal resources to defend themselves against such claims. Their lawyers might exploit loopholes in the law to close the case or pressure a plaintiff into settling for way less than they deserve. Because of this, Maryland residents who are harmed due to food contamination should consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help even the scales in their lawsuit against a large manufacturer.
Have You Gotten Ill From Contaminated Food?
If you or a loved one have recently become ill and suspect that contaminated food may have been the cause, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to discuss your case. Our attorneys have years of experience in all areas of personal injury law, including Maryland food contamination cases, and are willing to take on large food manufacturers to defend our clients’ rights. To learn more and speak with a personal injury lawyer, call today to set up a free initial consultation at 800-654-1949. Calling is risk-free, as we will not charge anything for our services unless we can help you earn compensation.