Legal Rights of Dole Listeria Outbreak: Lawsuits Expected To Follow

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Likely For Death of Macomb County Resident

Who expects to die after eating a salad?  We are constantly told to watch our diets and eat healthier foods, which includes salads and and vegetables, so would expect that a store purchased salad could kill you.  Unfortunately, there have been a dozen people in six states hospitalized for listerosis (Listeria) since July 5, 2015.  One Macomb County, Michigan resident died from Listeria. 

Until now, the source of the Listeria was unknown but the Center for Disease Control now believes the outbreak can be linked to salads produced at a Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio. These packaged salads were sold under various brand names including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President's Choice. The packages can be identified by the letter "A" at the start of the manufacturing code.  The salads were sold in grocery stores in many states.

Listeria is a potentially deadly bacteria found in soil and water, as well as some animals. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle aches, and nausea, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease primarily affects the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborn babies.

Now that the likely source has been identified as the Dole facility, victims of this outbreak and their families can now investigate their legal options for their illnesses caused by this tainted salad.  In cases involving death, surviving family members can consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Questions to be asked in connection with these cases include:

  1. Can it be proven that the victim consumed salad from the affected Dole products?
  2. Were there sources other than the salad that could have caused the illness?
  3. Was Dole negligent for failing to put a safe food product on the market?
  4. Did Dole properly inspect and test the salad before distributing them to stores for sale to the public?
  5. Did Dole act quickly enough to notify the public and recall the salad bags after the outbreak?

The answers to these questions will help determine the liability of the company and its responsibility to compensate the victims.  Our experienced food poisoning lawyers have handled similar cases before, including a Norovirus outbreak at Chipotle restaurant in Ohio.  We were able to obtain settlements for the victims who fell ill from food poisoning, but the injuries were not as serious as in the Dole Listeria outbreak.  For questions about your legal rights from food poisoning, including the Dole salad outbreak, call us at (800) 606-1717 to tell us your story and discuss your legal options.

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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