Lawsuits Emerging From Contaminated Eggs
A press release was recently issued concerning reports of contaminated eggs causing a “multistate outbreak” of salmonella. The eggs began making headlines across 8 states as more cases of salmonella were reported.
The eggs appear to have originated on a farm in North Carolina. Federal health officials reported that as of the writing of this article, 35 cases of illness related to the eggs have been reported. Two of those cases were in Florida. Eleven people were hospitalized as a result of the infection. A recall was issued, but it came too late for 35 people.
The complaint was filed on behalf of one Florida resident, a 70-year-old woman, and names three defendants including the farm that produced the eggs and the Save-A-Lot from which the eggs were purchased.
Rose Acre Farms, the farm that produced the tainted eggs, issued a recall immediately upon hearing that the eggs were responsible for a salmonella outbreak.
Can Plaintiffs Sue for Damages on Tainted Eggs?
The answer to that question is yes. The plaintiffs, in this case, will not need to prove that Rose Acre Farms was guilty of negligence. All they need to prove is that the farm produced tainted eggs that resulted in a personal injury. In this case, the folks who required hospitalization have the best claim.
Rose Acre Farms will likely be on the hook for medical expenses and pain and suffering, including emotional trauma caused by the incident. Since the effects of salmonella are temporary, albeit unpleasant, the defendants will be forced to pay out a modest settlement to the victims.
Luckily, no one was killed by the tainted eggs. Health officials say that salmonella can be deadly for the very old and the very young. In healthy people, it causes flu-like symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
The Question of Negligence
While a case like this can be tried without having to prove negligence, that doesn’t mean that plaintiff’s attorneys won’t stop investigating what the ultimate cause of the contamination was. In some instances, it benefits the plaintiff to attempt to prove negligence because if the situation was avoidable, the jury award can be greater.
If it can be proven that the farm knew about the contamination beforehand and did nothing to stop the outbreak from occurring then they could be held liable for gross negligence and willful misconduct, both of which open them up to be sued for punitive damages.
Punitive damages are awarded in a case where the defendant behaves without a care or concern for the folks that might be injured by their product. It’s unlikely that the farm knew about the contamination that caused the salmonella outbreak, but that won’t stop the plaintiff’s attorneys doing their due diligence and thoroughly investigating the matter.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you have been injured in Miami, we can help you today. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Alan Goldfarb, P.A. for professional assistance with your case.