Food poisoning is rarely fatal if caught in time, and even if not diagnosed the results are usually flu-like symptoms, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, and fever. Unfortunately food poisoning is most likely fatal for the very young and the elderly. Worse, young children, toddlers, and babies can suffer irreparable damage to their digestive systems, often requiring lifetime medical care.
Upton Sinclair wrote of contaminated food in 1906, yet here I am writing about it again in 2014.
I worked hard for June’s family, collaborated with a team of experts, battled against the company which distributed the tainted food, and eventually reached a settlement. The company cannot be named nor can the settlement terms be disclosed as the company required that the settlement be confidential. The settlement will allow June’s children to provide for June’s grandchildren, but the settlement won’t bring back June.
A sad failing to our legal system is that it’s often an after-the-fact organization that changes companies one at a time — if that company gets caught and if it decides that future misconduct is not worth the risk of getting caught a second time. Ford’s design of the Pinto placed the gas tank in an unsafe location at the rear of the car. People died and Ford denied. After a then-record verdict, Ford changed. Today we hear about Toyota’s unexpected acceleration issues which the company knew about but delayed to disclose, and GM’s faulty ignition affecting the deployment of airbags and how GM knew about this hazard for far too long. Companies know when their product is defective but some play that financial game of, “What will cost more — the recall or the potential verdicts?”
Thomas Jefferson insisted upon the 7th amendment right to jury trial so the smallest of persons can speak and be heard by the largest of organizations. But the sad reality is that many companies will run that risk, like with Toyota, Ford, and June’s case. Mr. Sinclair wrote of contaminated food in 1906, yet here I am writing about it again in 2014.
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