The U.S. is a nation of consumers. Because the U.S. is consumer driver, including those in Georgia, it is important that individuals have a positive feeling about the safety and quality of the food and goods they purchase. Although the law recognizes that no person or entity is perfect, there are many laws that favor the purchaser of a product over the producer, when the product is defective in some manner. For food producers, contaminates in their products is the equivalent of a new car with bad breaks.
The company that may be responsible for the recent string of illnesses and deaths linked to a listeria outbreak is recalling packaged caramel apples. The company Happy Apples recently recalled caramel apples with the best use dates of Aug. 25 to Nov. 23.
The move was made after an apple supplier contacted the company saying the outbreak may be linked to apples the company supplied to Happy Apples. Although the outbreak has only killed three and hospitalized 29 others, the CDC is asking for people to stop eating the caramel apples until their investigation is complete. Health officials have yet to determine the source of the listeria contamination
Georgia is on the list of states that received Happy Apple’s caramel apples although there have been no listeria illnesses reported from the state. Georgia like many other states includes a strict liability framework in their product liability laws. This means that one only need prove that the product was defective when bought and the defect caused their injury when correctly using the product. If the use of the products results in death, a party may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers, and in some cases, the sellers of the product.
Source: The Washington Post, “Missouri company recalls caramel apples that may be linked to listeria outbreak,” Lenny Bernstein, Dec. 25, 2014