For those with short memories, between January 1, 2007 and October 29, 2007, at least 272 isolates of Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- with an indistinguishable genetic fingerprint have been collected from ill persons in 35 states. Ill persons whose Salmonella strain has this genetic fingerprint have been reported from Arizona (1 person), Arkansas (4), California (18), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (5), Florida (2), Georgia (2), Idaho (11), Illinois (7), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (4), Kentucky (9), Massachusetts (7), Maryland (7), Maine (2), Michigan (3), Minnesota (7), Missouri (18), Montana (6), Nevada (6), New York (10), North Carolina (2), Ohio (11), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (18), Tennessee (6), Texas (4), Utah (12), Virginia (9), Vermont (2), Washington (27), Wisconsin (24), Wyoming (3). The common link to all these illnesses were Pot Pies produced by ConAgra. We commenced several lawsuits on behalf of several dozen of the 272 people genetically linked to each other and to ConAgra’s Salmonella-tainted Pot Pies, including one who just received these AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES:
ConAgra, by counsel, reserves the right to rely upon the following affirmative defenses to the claims asserted in Plaintiffs’ Complaint to the extent supported by evidence later developed or facts later learned, without now assuming a burden of proof on any such defense that would otherwise rest on Plaintiffs’ and with reservation of its rights to amend or supplement its responses to Plaintiffs’ Complaint, as well as its affirmative defenses, as information is gathered through discovery.
5.Plaintiffs’ claims are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of assumption of risk.
6.The negligence of Plaintiffs’, and their failure to use that degree of care as would have been used by ordinary, reasonable and prudent persons under the same or similar circumstances was a, or the sole, proximate cause of their injuries.
7.The alleged injuries and/or damages of Plaintiffs were caused by the alteration, unintended use, abuse, misuse and/or modification of the product referred to in the Complaint in an unforeseeable manner by parties outside the control of ConAgra.
8.Defendant affirmatively alleges that the Plaintiffs’ claim is barred or appropriately reduced by the doctrine of contributory negligence.
9.All alleged defects in the product at issue and all uses or alleged misuses of the product at issue constitute open and obvious hazards that Plaintiffs should have noted and avoided.
Now remember, these Pot Pies were supposed to be pre-cooked and not to contain Salmonella in any event. ConAgra’s defenses are shameful and shameless – talk about frivolous. By the way, for those at ConAgra reading my blog (you know you do), please check out Doug Powell’s video on cooking Pot Pies.