New York residents sickened in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to State Garden’s spinach and spring salad have, to date, sued the company in three separate lawsuits.  The lawsuits, filed by the E. coli lawyers at Marler Clark, and Paul Nunes of Underberg Kessler, seek money compensation for a variety of economic and physical losses caused by the contaminated spinach and spring salad, which was sold by Wegmans stores.  The outbreak has sickened at least 28 people in 5 states.

The Anatomy of an E. coli Lawsuit

The three E. coli lawsuits allege several theories of liability against State Garden.  The first is that State Garden, as a manufacturer of the E. coli contaminated spinach and spring mix, is strictly liable to the plaintiffs.  The “strict liability” claim does not require that the plaintiffs prove that State Garden was negligent in manufacturing the salad mix, just that State Garden did manufacture the product, and the plaintiffs were infected by E. coli as a result of consuming the product. 

The second theory of liability alleged in each of the complaints is that State Garden is liable for breaching both express and implied warranties that it made to all consumers of the product regarding the quality of the product.  The law recognizes an implicit warranty that any food product sold is warranted, by the seller, to be healthful and otherwise free of contamination by bugs, like E. coli, that can sicken or kill people. 

The third theory of liability set forth in each of the complaints is that State Garden negligently manufactured the salad product, leading to the E. coli outbreak that caused of these plaintiffs’ illness and injuries.  Each of the negligence claims in these 3 E. coli lawsuits alleges that State Garden breached its duty of exercising reasonable care in the production of the product, as well as in the selection and monitoring of its suppliers of spinach and lettuce products used in the spinach and spring mix.

Damages Sought

Each of these 3 E. coli lawsuits seeks damages for not only pain and suffering, but also for the economic losses incurred by each of the plaintiffs.  Things like lost wages, medical costs, and pharmaceutical expenses are losses that almost all victims in this outbreak have incurred.  These E. coli lawsuits will compensate each of the plaintiffs fully for all economic losses suffered, in addition to general damages for pain and suffering.