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Frozen Vegetables Recalled Due to Listeria Outbreak

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control discovered evidence of listeria contamination in Dole salad products after multiple Canadian and American residents were hospitalized with infection-related symptoms upon consuming the products. Since then, several retail grocery chains have also issued a series of voluntary recalls. For instance, last week, numerous grocery stores recalled Pictsweet’s brand of frozen vegetables due to concerns that the onions used in its “Seasoning Blend” and “Steamable Spring Vegetables” were contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes are microscopic bacteria that can cause serious infections and even death for those who ingest them. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly have an especially high risk of being infected. Most people exposed to listeria suffer short-term symptoms, including:

  • High fevers;
  • Severe headaches;
  • Nausea;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Confusion;
  • Loss of balance;
  • Convulsions;
  • Muscle aches;
  • Abdominal pain; and
  • Stiffness in the neck.

The infection is much more dangerous for pregnant women, and has been linked to causing miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, and serious infections in newborns.

Strict Liability

Maryland adheres to a legal theory known as strict liability. Strict liability does not mean that a person injured by another’s product can automatically recover damages. Rather, victims must establish certain elements, including that:

  • The product was defective at the time it left the manufacturer’s control;
  • The product had not undergone a substantial change by the time it reached the consumer;
  • The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous for the consumer, and
  • The defect was the cause of the injuries sustained by the victim.

Additionally, in order to be held strictly liable, the company that sold or manufactured the defective product must have been engaged in the business of manufacturing or selling that type of product. Under the strict liability standard, a victim is not required to show that the manufacturer was negligent in order to obtain compensation for the harm he or she suffered.

Damages

Victims who are injured by a defective product, such as a contaminated food item, may be able to recover for the losses they sustained as a result of consuming the product. This can include compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitative therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of earning capacity, all of which can prove ruinous to a family’s finances.

If a defective product tragically caused a victim’s death, his or her family may be able to recover under a wrongful death claim. Recoverable damages may include medical costs related to the injury, funeral expenses, the loss of the victim’s expected earnings, the loss of benefits or an inheritance, and the value of the services that the victim would have provided. Victims’ families may also be able to receive compensation for the mental anguish they experienced as a result of the loss of a loved one.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

At the Law Office of Robert R. Castro, our Charles County, Maryland, personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in an accident in Waldorf, St Charles, Clinton, Charles County, St Mary's County, or anywhere in the State of Maryland. If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a contaminated product, please call us at 301-804-2312 today to schedule a free consultation.

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