Food-borne illnesses are once again a problem in the United States. Major companies have issued some big recall notices for their products recently -- and there's a real danger that someone could get sick.
At least three people have been hospitalized in an E. coli outbreak that's affected several states due to contaminated flour. Pillsbury, King Arthur Flour and the ALDI grocery chain have all issued multi-state recalls for their flour -- since E. coli has the potential to be life-threatening.
Almost at the same time, Costco and Kroger announced a recall of certain frozen berry products because samples were determined to be contaminated with the hepatitis A virus, which can cause serious inflammation and problems with a victim's liver.
When someone is injured due to contaminated food from the manufacturer, the case usually falls under product liability laws. In other words, the food is a defective product that somehow slipped onto the market and posed a danger to consumers even when used as directed. Under strict product liability laws, you don't necessarily have to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer or distributor in order to make a valid claim.
You do, however, have to show that you suffered a serious injury in order to have a lawsuit. Just being exposed to the contaminated food isn't enough to pursue an injury lawsuit -- but if you were hospitalized for an illness that you contracted through that exposure, you likely have a number of unpaid medical bills, lost wages from your time off work and other significant expenses. It may even take you a while to recover once the initial crisis is over. A product liability lawsuit can help you recover financially while you work to recover medically from your illness.