Montgomery County resident Jillian Neal has filed a lawsuit against Reily Food Co. of New Orleans, LA after suffering a severe allergic reaction from chili made with the company’s chili spice mix. Neal is represented by John Ramsey of Ramsey Hill LLP in Houston, TX, and Bill Marler of Marler Clark, a Seattle-based firm specializing in food safety. The cause number for the lawsuit, which was filed in Montgomery County, is 15-01-00782.
Deathly allergic to peanut products, Jillian Neal has trained herself to be diligent in checking labels for ingredients. In November of 2014, she ate chili made with the seemingly harmless chili spice mix from Reily Foods. The mix did not mention nuts of any kind in its ingredients list or labeling. Soon after, she became violently ill, suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Her family rushed her to the hospital where she received life-saving medical care.
It wasn’t until a month later, on December 19, 2014, that the Federal Food and Drug Administration recalled Reily’s “Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit” and “Carroll Shelby White Chicken Chili Mix” after it was found that one or more of the spice ingredients purchased from a third-party supplier contained peanut and almond allergens that were not declared on the products’ ingredient statements.
“There is no excuse for someone with a severe peanut allergy almost dying simply because they ate a bowl of chili,” said John Ramsey, who has worked with many product liability victims. “With all the people in this country suffering from peanut allergies, food companies need to ensure their products are properly labeled.”
Jillian Neal is one of approximately 3 million people in the U.S. who suffer from peanut allergies. It is one of the most common food allergies and can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction. To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of peanut and peanut products is essential.
“Consumers put a lot of faith in food companies to keep them safe from foodborne illness, allergic reactions, and other related health risks, yet there are still so many near death and fatal occurrences as a result of food consumption,” said Bill Marler, who has been working to help improve food safety standards since representing victims of the Jack In The Box E. coli outbreak in the early 1990s. “I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it a hundred more. It is time we value our customer’s health as much as we value their dollars and make proper labeling and food safety a top priority.”
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness and other-related pathogens. Their attorneys have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark has litigated against huge corporations including Cargill, Dole, Wal-Mart, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Nebraska Beef, Nestle, and Yum! Brands. Marler Clark’s attorneys travel widely to speak to environmental, health, consumer protection, and industry groups as well as to university students and food safety conference audiences, often on topics related to the intersection of public health and the law preventing foodborne illness.
Ramsey Hill LLP is a Texas based law firm with offices in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. The Texas Trial Attorneys at Ramsey Hill LLP have litigated and tried lawsuits all over the State of Texas and in many other states. The Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at Ramsey Hill LLP practice primarily in the areas of personal injury, product liability, oil & gas, and commercial litigation.