For many, charcuterie boards are an indulgent treat. However, an alarming Salmonella outbreak has recently been linked to charcuterie meats sold at Sam’s Club and Costco, raising serious concerns about food safety and consumer health.
As of January 25th, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported over 47 cases of illness across 22 states linked to this outbreak. Unfortunately, 10 of these cases have resulted in hospitalizations. The CDC’s ongoing investigation has pinpointed charcuterie products from Busseto and Fratelli Beretta as the potential culprits of this widespread contamination.
You may be eligible to file a lawsuit if you or a loved one has experienced significant injuries or long-term health impacts due to contracting a Salmonella infection from commercially sold food. Our expert team of personal injury lawyers is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your pain, suffering, and medical bills. With over 250 years of combined courtroom experience and a track record of over 100,000 successful cases, the seasoned trial lawyers at Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP are more than qualified to represent you in court.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal experts, call 1-800-568-7500 or fill out our contact form today.
Recalled Brands Identified by the CDC
The current outbreak has led to the recall of products from two renowned brands:
Busseto brand Charcuterie Sampler
- Contains prosciutto, sweet soppressata, and dry coppa.
- Available at Sam’s Club.
- Sold in a twin-pack (2 x 9oz).
- All lot codes are affected.
Fratelli Beretta brand Antipasto Gran Beretta
- Features black pepper coated dry salami, Italian dry salami, dry coppa, and prosciutto.
- Available at Costco.
- Sold in a twin-pack (2 x 12oz).
- All lot codes are affected.
If you have purchased any of these products, it is crucial to refrain from consuming them and to monitor your health closely for any signs of Salmonella infection.
This is not the first Salmonella outbreak for Fratelli Beretta USA, Inc. In 2021, they were forced to recall over 862,000 pounds of uncured antipasto products contaminated with Salmonella that resulted in 36 illnesses across 17 states.
The Role of a Product Liability Lawyer in a Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit
When pursuing legal compensation for a Salmonella infection, the guidance and representation of a product liability lawyer are invaluable. These legal professionals specialize in cases where individuals are harmed by unsafe or defective products, including contaminated food. In a Salmonella lawsuit, a product liability lawyer fulfills many crucial roles as they help clients navigate the complex legal landscape in pursuit of justice and compensation:
1. Providing Expert Legal Advice
One of the primary roles of a product liability lawyer is to offer expert legal advice. They help clients understand their rights and the legal options available to them. This includes explaining complex legal terms, procedures, and what clients can expect at each stage of their case. They also advise on the feasibility of a Salmonella lawsuit and the potential outcomes based on the specifics of the case.
2. Investigating the Source of Contamination
A crucial aspect of a Salmonella case is identifying the source of contamination. Product liability lawyers work closely with health experts, investigators, and other professionals to trace the origin of the Salmonella strain. This investigation may involve reviewing health department reports, food safety inspections, and conducting independent analysis. Determining the source is essential for establishing liability in the case.
3. Establishing Liability
After identifying the source of the Salmonella contamination, the lawyer works to establish liability. This involves proving that the defendant (such as a food manufacturer, distributor, or retailer) was negligent in their duty to provide safe products to consumers. Lawyers must demonstrate that the contaminated product was the direct cause of their client’s illness. This often requires gathering and presenting scientific evidence, expert testimonies, and other relevant data.
4. Gathering and Managing Evidence
A successful Salmonella lawsuit hinges on the strength of the evidence. Product liability lawyers are adept at gathering, organizing, and presenting evidence effectively. This includes medical records, testimonies from medical experts, records of purchase and consumption of the contaminated product, and documentation of the client’s symptoms and their impact on daily life. They also ensure that evidence is preserved correctly and presented in a way that supports the client’s claim.
5. Assessing and Calculating Damages
Another key role of a product liability lawyer is to accurately assess and calculate the damages suffered by their client. This includes not only medical expenses and lost wages but also non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life. Lawyers ensure that all potential damages are considered and that clients receive fair compensation that reflects the full extent of their suffering and losses.
6. Negotiating with Insurance Companies and Defendants
Product liability lawyers often engage in negotiations with the defendant’s lawyers and insurance companies to reach a settlement that adequately compensates the client. They use their skills and experience to negotiate effectively, ensuring that their clients’ interests are represented and that lowball offers are not accepted.
7. Representing Clients in Court
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, a product liability lawyer will represent the client in court. They manage all aspects of the litigation process, including filing the lawsuit, handling pre-trial procedures, presenting the case in court, and arguing on behalf of their client. Their expertise is crucial in navigating the complexities of a trial and in persuading the judge or jury of the merits of the case.
8. Providing Support and Advocacy
Beyond legal representation, product liability lawyers also provide emotional support and advocacy for their clients. They understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a Salmonella infection can take and work to ensure their clients feel heard, respected, and supported throughout the legal process.
9. Keeping Clients Informed
Clients are kept informed and involved in their case every step of the way. Lawyers regularly update clients on the progress of their case, explain legal developments, and involve them in key decisions. This transparent communication ensures that clients are empowered and confident in the management of their case.
10. Handling Post-Settlement or Post-Trial Procedures
After a settlement is reached or a trial concludes, the lawyer’s role is not over. They assist in the post-settlement or post-trial processes, including the collection of the settlement or award and addressing any post-judgment issues that may arise.
At Pond Lehocky Giordano, our team of experienced product liability lawyers is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate legal representation to individuals affected by Salmonella outbreaks. We understand the complexities of these cases and are dedicated to guiding our clients through every step of the process, ensuring they receive the justice and compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been affected by a Salmonella outbreak, we encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation to discuss your legal options.
Navigating a Salmonella Lawsuit: Essential Steps to Take
If you suspect that you or a loved one has fallen ill due to a Salmonella-contaminated product, it’s crucial to recognize that you may have a valid legal claim. Pursuing a Salmonella lawsuit can help you secure the compensation needed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, it’s important to take specific, strategic steps to strengthen your case. Below are detailed actions you should consider if you believe you have a valid Salmonella lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health is the top priority. If you exhibit symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, or vomiting, seek medical care immediately. Inform your healthcare provider about your consumption of the suspected contaminated product. Medical professionals will conduct necessary tests, such as stool cultures, to confirm a Salmonella infection. A prompt and accurate diagnosis not only contributes to your well-being but also provides crucial medical evidence that links your illness to the Salmonella outbreak.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Adhering to your doctor’s treatment plan is essential for your recovery and can also impact your legal claim. Follow all prescribed treatments and attend follow-up appointments. If you’re advised to take medication or undergo specific treatments, ensure that you comply. Documenting that you’ve followed professional medical advice demonstrates the seriousness of your condition and helps validate your claim.
Keep Meticulous Records of Medical Treatment and Expenses
Document every aspect of your medical care, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, treatments, medications, and any other related expenses. Request copies of your medical records, as these documents will be pivotal in proving the extent and costs of your illness. Keeping detailed records of your expenses is crucial for calculating the compensation you may be entitled to, which may include medical bills, travel expenses for medical appointments, and any other costs directly linked to your illness.
Retain Evidence of Your Purchase and Consumption
If possible, retain the packaging, receipt, or any other proof of purchase of the contaminated product. If you still have a portion of the product, store it safely – it could be critical evidence for your case. If you dined at a restaurant and suspect that’s where the exposure occurred, keep a copy of the receipt and note the date and time of your visit. This evidence can help establish a direct link between the product and your illness, a critical element in product liability cases.
Document the Timeline of Your Illness and Related Expenses or Losses
Create a detailed timeline of events starting from the consumption of the suspected contaminated product to the onset and progression of your symptoms, including all medical consultations and treatments. Record any days missed from work and how the illness has impacted your daily life and ability to perform regular activities. Also, document any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. This comprehensive account will provide a clear picture of the impact of the Salmonella infection on your life.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Product Liability Lawyer
Product liability cases, especially those involving foodborne illnesses, can be complex. It’s essential to consult with a lawyer who has experience in this area of law. A knowledgeable attorney can offer invaluable guidance, help gather and preserve evidence, and navigate the intricate legal procedures involved in a Salmonella lawsuit. They will also represent your interests in negotiations with responsible parties and insurance companies or in court if necessary.
Avoid Discussing Your Case on Social Media
In today’s digital world, it’s natural to share experiences online. However, when it comes to legal matters, it’s best to keep details off social media. Posts, pictures, or comments about your illness, the suspected product, or your legal case can be misinterpreted or used against you by the opposing party.
Be Mindful of Deadlines
Be aware of the statute of limitations in your state, which sets the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Missing this deadline could jeopardize your right to seek compensation. A product liability lawyer can help ensure that all legal actions are taken within the appropriate timeframes.
Understanding the Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
Salmonella infection, known medically as salmonellosis, presents a spectrum of symptoms that can vary in severity and duration. This bacterial infection primarily affects the intestinal tract, leading to a range of gastrointestinal disturbances. The onset of symptoms typically occurs between six hours and six days after ingesting the contaminated food. However, it’s important to note that this timeframe can vary significantly. Some individuals may not exhibit symptoms until several weeks post-exposure, while others might experience symptoms that persist for multiple weeks.
The primary symptoms of salmonellosis include:
Diarrhea: Often the most immediate and disruptive symptom, diarrhea caused by Salmonella can range from mild to severe. In some cases, it may contain blood or mucus. Frequent, watery stools can lead to dehydration, especially in vulnerable populations like young children and the elderly. It’s crucial to monitor fluid intake and seek medical attention if signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination, dry mouth, and dizziness, occur.
Fever: A heightened body temperature is a common response to infection as the body attempts to fight off the invading bacteria. Fever can be accompanied by chills and is a clear signal from the body that something is amiss. Persistent or very high fever may require medical intervention.
Abdominal Cramps: These cramps are often severe and can be debilitating. They result from the body’s reaction to the Salmonella bacteria in the gut. The pain may be constant or intermittent and can sometimes be mistaken for other gastrointestinal issues.
Headache: While not as specific as other symptoms, headaches can accompany salmonellosis, adding to the overall discomfort and malaise the infected individual is experiencing.
Nausea: The sensation of feeling sick and the urge to vomit can be particularly distressing. Nausea does not always result in vomiting but can significantly impact an individual’s ability to eat or drink normally.
Vomiting: In some cases, the body’s response to the infection is to expel the contents of the stomach. While this can relieve nausea temporarily, it can also contribute to dehydration and weakness, especially if it occurs frequently.
While these are the most common symptoms, it’s crucial to recognize that the severity and combination of symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Some individuals may experience mild symptoms that resolve without medical intervention, while others may suffer from more severe, even life-threatening symptoms, particularly if the infection spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream or other body sites.
In any case, if you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from a Salmonella infection, especially after consuming products known to be part of a contamination outbreak, it’s imperative to seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can mitigate the severity of the infection and help prevent further complications. In the context of an outbreak, reporting your illness can also help health authorities track the spread and manage the outbreak more effectively.
Long-Term Health Impacts of Salmonella Infection
While most individuals recover from Salmonella infections without lasting effects, some may experience long-term health complications. Understanding these potential impacts is crucial for victims seeking to comprehend the full extent of their ordeal and for pursuing appropriate legal recourse. Here, we explore the potential long-term health impacts of Salmonella infection.
Reactive Arthritis (Reiter’s Syndrome)
One of the more common long-term effects of Salmonella infection is reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s Syndrome. This condition can develop weeks after the initial symptoms of salmonellosis have subsided. Reactive arthritis is characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and swelling. It can also affect the eyes, urinary tract, and skin. Although the symptoms of reactive arthritis may resolve over time, some individuals may experience chronic pain or persistent joint issues.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Salmonella infections can disrupt the normal function of the gastrointestinal system, potentially leading to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and can cause symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. For some individuals, these symptoms can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes, but for others, IBS can significantly affect their quality of life.
In addition to reactive arthritis, Salmonella infections can lead to chronic arthritis, a condition characterized by long-term joint inflammation and pain. Chronic arthritis can significantly impact mobility and daily activities, requiring ongoing medical treatment and possibly impacting an individual’s ability to work or perform routine tasks.
Emerging research suggests a possible link between Salmonella infections and an increased risk of cardiovascular complications, such as heart disease and atherosclerosis. While the exact mechanisms are still being studied, it is believed that the inflammation caused by the infection may contribute to the development or exacerbation of cardiovascular conditions.
Impaired Kidney Function
In severe cases, especially those involving specific strains of Salmonella, such as Salmonella Typhi, the infection can lead to complications affecting the kidneys. This can result in conditions like glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney disease that involves the inflammation of the small blood vessels in the kidneys, potentially leading to impaired kidney function or chronic kidney disease.
Mental Health Impact
The experience of dealing with a severe Salmonella infection, particularly if it results in long-term health issues or hospitalization, can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as they cope with their illness and its aftermath. The psychological toll of a Salmonella infection should not be underestimated and may require professional mental health support.
The long-term health impacts of a Salmonella infection can create a significant financial burden for victims. Medical expenses for ongoing treatment, coupled with potential loss of income due to an inability to work, can lead to financial instability and stress. These economic challenges are an important consideration in the pursuit of legal claims for compensation.
Vulnerability to Future Infections
After a Salmonella infection, some individuals may become more susceptible to future gastrointestinal infections. Their immune system’s response to similar pathogens may be compromised, making it harder to fight off future infections and potentially leading to more frequent or severe illnesses.
Growth and Developmental Issues in Children
In young children, severe or recurrent Salmonella infections can interfere with growth and development. Nutritional deficiencies, resulting from gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, can affect a child’s overall health and development, underscoring the need for close medical monitoring and appropriate intervention.
At Pond Lehocky Giordano, we understand that the consequences of a Salmonella infection extend beyond the immediate physical symptoms. The potential for long-term health impacts adds a layer of complexity to each case we handle. Our team of seasoned personal injury lawyers is dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive comprehensive legal representation, taking into account not only the immediate medical costs but also the long-term physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of their illness.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a Salmonella infection, especially one linked to a known outbreak, it is crucial to consider the full scope of the impact on your life. We encourage you to reach out to us for a thorough evaluation of your case, professional guidance, and the compassionate support you deserve as you navigate the path to recovery and justice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Salmonella Lawsuits
Navigating the aftermath of a Salmonella outbreak can be a daunting process. Victims often have numerous questions about their legal rights and the steps they need to take to seek justice and compensation. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Salmonella lawsuits, answered from the perspective of experienced product liability lawyers at Pond Lehocky Giordano.
What does a Salmonella lawsuit entail?
A Salmonella lawsuit is a legal claim filed against parties responsible for producing, distributing, or selling contaminated food products that led to a Salmonella infection. The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek compensation for the damages suffered by the victim, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Who can be held liable in a Salmonella lawsuit?
Various parties in the food production and distribution chain can be held liable in a Salmonella lawsuit. These may include food manufacturers, processors, distributors, retailers, and sometimes restaurants. The liable party is typically the one whose negligence led to the contamination or spread of Salmonella.
What do I need to prove in a Salmonella lawsuit?
To succeed in a Salmonella lawsuit, you generally need to prove three main elements:
- The food product was contaminated with Salmonella.
- You consumed the contaminated product.
- You suffered an illness or injury as a result of consuming the contaminated product.
Establishing these elements often requires medical documentation of your illness, evidence of your purchase and consumption of the product, and expert testimony linking your illness to the contaminated product.
How long do I have to file a Salmonella lawsuit?
The time limit for filing a Salmonella lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. It’s crucial to consult with a product liability lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate time frame.
Can I file a lawsuit if a family member died from a Salmonella infection?
Yes, if a family member died due to a Salmonella infection caused by a contaminated product, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits seek compensation for the survivors’ loss, such as lost wages from the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral expenses.
What kind of compensation can I receive in a Salmonella lawsuit?
Compensation in a Salmonella lawsuit can cover various damages, including:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages (in cases of egregious negligence)
How do I start a Salmonella lawsuit?
To initiate a Salmonella lawsuit, it’s advisable to consult with a product liability lawyer who has experience in foodborne illness cases. The lawyer will evaluate your case, guide you through the legal process, and help gather the necessary evidence to build a strong claim.
Are Salmonella lawsuits filed individually or as class actions?
Salmonella lawsuits can be filed either individually or as part of a class action, depending on the circumstances of the outbreak and the number of people affected. In a class action, a group of plaintiffs with similar claims against the same defendant files a collective lawsuit.
How long does a Salmonella lawsuit take?
The duration of a Salmonella lawsuit can vary widely based on the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, and the legal strategies employed. Some cases may settle quickly out of court, while others might take several years to reach a resolution through litigation.
Will I need to go to court for a Salmonella lawsuit?
Not necessarily. Many Salmonella lawsuits are settled out of court through negotiations between your lawyer and the defendant’s legal team. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
Contact Pond Lehocky Giordano Today
At Pond Lehocky Giordano, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that Salmonella infections can take on individuals and their families. Our team of personal injury lawyers is dedicated to guiding you through the legal process with compassion and expertise, aiming to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a Salmonella infection due to unsafe food practices, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you every step of the way, ensuring that those responsible are held accountable. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal experts, call 1-800-568-7500 or fill out our contact form today. Together, we can fight for your rights and pave the way toward a safer and healthier future.