A food company has become the subject of several lawsuits following reports of an E. Coli outbreak somewhere within its chain of supply and production. The company in question is the Glenview, IL based I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter Co., which specializes in the production of soy-based alternative products to peanut butter. These products are especially popular among families with children that have developed peanut allergies.
The company began receiving reports over the product potentially contributing to E. Coli cases nationwide. So far, at least 16 cases have been reported, across the states of Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon. The company has responded by initiating its own recall of the products across the nation. In addition, I.M. Healthy has pointed out that another company is responsible for the manufacturing of its products.
Lawsuits Against I.M. Healthy
At the present time, I.M. Healthy is facing four potential lawsuits for their product. One of the cases involves a young child, Trevor Simmons, who was admitted to a hospital. He was home sick from school, with what was originally perceived to be a stomach flu, however, as his conditions persisted and worsened his parents took him to the emergency room, and Trevor ended up staying in the hospital for four weeks. His kidneys failed, and he was forced to undergo dialysis. Trevor was diagnosed with E. coli 0157, a somewhat difficult to treat strain of the illness, as it is difficult to combat with antibiotics.
In a more recent case, a young girl suffered a potentially deadly complication from her E. Coli infection. This infection came from I.M. Healthy's product as well. After a brief hospital stay, she is now in recovery at home with her family.
A Seattle-based food safety attorney has taken on the case for both of these families against I.M. Healthy along with the company's manufacturer, Dixie Dew Products.
Product Liability Lawsuits
When a person is injured or afflicted with an illness as a result of interacting with a product, they may be able to pursue a lawsuit through products liability. There are several different types of defects a product can have including manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to provide adequate warnings. For the above cases, the most likely theory of liability that the plaintiffs may choose to pursue is a defect in manufacturing, as the company pointed to their manufacturing source when prompted for comment on the E Coli outbreak.
In cases that involve food, another possible consequence that the company may have to deal with comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA imposes certain federal regulations that all industries must adhere to. If a company is found to have violated one of those regulations, they may also face punishments from the federal agency, in addition to any consumer lawsuits.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product, contact the legal professionals at Gilman & Bedigian today.