Chicago has definitely endured a long bone-chilling winter. Thankfully, it seems as if it has finally come to an end, and spring has arrived. That means that summer and grilling season is just around the corner for Chicagoland backyards. What better way to enjoy the nice weather than sit on the deck with family and friends enjoying a burger hot off the grill – that is, unless that burger could send you the doctor for serious illness.
According to recent reports by the United States Department of Agriculture, consumers should be aware of beef products they purchase at their local grocery store for E. coli contamination. A Detroit based meat packing company, Wolverine Packing Company, is recalling 1.8 million pound of ground beef that could be contaminated with E. coli. The packages at issue will have the establishment number “EST. 2574B” with a product date between March 31, 2014 through April 18, 2014. Although originating in the Midwest, these products have appeared both in grocery stores and in restaurants nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began receiving notifications of E. coli illnesses on May 8, 2014. The agency then conducted an investigation and traced the illness back to Wolverine Packing Company. As of May 19, 2014, there have been 11 patients with E. coli illnesses in 4 different states.
You may wonder why this product liability case is more urgent than others. That is because unlike some other product recalls that pose dangers, this E. coli contaminated meat not only poses danger and harm for serious illness, but could pose risk for death. Also according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the E. coli bacterium can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps lasting between 2 – 8 days. Many people recover from the illness within a week, but some develop kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic website, symptoms of illness usually begin 3 – 4 days after exposure to the bacteria. Thus, many people are unaware they have been exposed to the bacteria and are ill until fairly well after the exposure.
As our readers know, product liability law is not only limited to food but a wide range of consumer products that we purchase from companies and local stores. These products can include, aside from food, medicine and drugs, machinery and tools, automobiles and parts, clothing, toys, and household products and appliances. Consumers trust that manufacturers and stores have inspected goods and are only providing goods that are safe for use or consumption, or otherwise they would not be for sale. It is the legal duty of these manufacturers and stores to inspect goods for dangers, remove dangerous or defective goods from the stream of commerce, and warn consumers about known dangers and improper use. Where they fail in doing so, they have breached their legal duty and can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.
If you have suffered illness or injury or lost a loved one due to a product that was dangerous or defective, it is advisable to seek the immediate help of an attorney. Through a product liability lawsuit you can hold a wrongdoing company and/or manufacturer liable for providing you with goods that were unknowingly dangerous to you. Our law firm prides itself in continuing to achieve fair and reasonable verdicts and settlements for injured plaintiffs. Through successful lawsuits our lawyers not only help the injured achieve justice, but we aim to set a legal example to prevent future wrongs from occurring. Call us today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.