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Illnesses in New York, elsewhere, spark national product recalls

Many of us trust that when we pick up groceries at the supermarket, the products will be safe for consumption. Unfortunately, this trust is sometimes unmet; people get sick and, in some cases, die as a result of badly processed food products and other potentially defective products.

For example, in recent weeks, some 35 people in 19 states, including New York, have suffered illnesses resulting from salmonella poisoning. The majority of those suffering illnesses are under the age of 10.All the cases have been linked to the same strain of the bug and tracking points back to a single production house as the source. Investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are looking into the New Mexico food processor.

Meanwhile, there has been a voluntary recall of a wide range of affected products sold in a number of grocery chains. Brands affected include some from Trader Joe's, Hines and Clover Valley. The recall includes an assortment of products that may contain peanuts and nut butters as ingredients.

Individuals or their loved ones suffering from food poisoning may be able to pursue a product liability claim for the illnesses resulting from the dangerous product. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the supplier, manufacturer and retail seller may each be liable for the defective product.

Those harmed by contracting food poisoning from a food product may receive an economic recovery from those liable. Economic recovery could include compensation for future medical costs, loss of enjoyment of life and lost earning capacity. Future medical expenses may include rehabilitation or continued care for the injuries resulting from the defective product.

When defective products harm individuals or their loved ones, they should know that legal remedies may be available to them. A product liability claim may be one way to achieve closure and hold the sources accountable.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Recall of peanut products expands," Mary Vanac, Oct. 17, 2012

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