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Companies could face products liability claims over bad food

West Virginia consumers may be interested to know that products from several companies are being recalled due to possible contamination by either E. Coli or Listeria. Products range from sprouts to beef. The companies distributing the products could face numerous products liability claims by the time all of the tainted food is located and removed from the market.

Lansal Inc. and Sherman Produce are both recalling certain products due to the possibility of consumers contracting Listeria monocytogenes. A Listeria infection could be serious or even fatal to anyone with a compromised immune system. So far, no illnesses have been reported, but that could change. Symptoms of an infection range from gastrointestinal issues to convulsions.

Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC, an Idaho company that distributes sprouts, received notice that seven people contracted E. Coli (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121), and three other cases are not yet confirmed. Symptoms of the infection range from severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain to more serious complications -- such as kidney failure -- in the elderly and children age five and under. The USDA has also identified some 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that may be tainted with an E. Coli strain.

The companies and officials from the CDC and the USDA will do what they can to get the tainted products off the market, but in some cases, it may be too late. Any West Virginia consumer who purchased and consumed any of the recalled products could develop symptoms. If it turns out that a consumer became seriously ill or died as a result of either a Listeria or E. Coli infection from tainted food, he or she -- or the family of a deceased consumer -- may file a products liability claim against the party or parties deemed responsible.

Source: CNN, "E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts; hummus, dips, walnuts recalled", Elizabeth Landau, May 22, 2014

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