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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

When E. coli strikes, who pays?

Matt McKinney of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and I spoke last week when I was in New York working on the Taco Bell E. coli cases that occurred last year in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Mr. McKinney, also has another article featured this morning, “Meat recalls have highlighted an uptick in illnesses. Experts offer several theories why.”

We had a long talk about why I think companies whose products sicken and kill, should step up and help the families who are devastated by products that these same companies profit from.  This is not a unique request, nor is it something that does not happen.  As I said, “past outbreaks linked to the Odwalla Juice Co. and to the Jack-in-the-Box hamburger chain saw both companies make early payments for victims’ medical bills.”  Other companies, ConAgra, Chi-Chi’s, and recently Taco Bell, have done the same. Being moral does not mean that you are not a good business.  As I told Mr. McKinney, I have repeatedly (“Step up and pay” and “Are you going to pay?”) asked companies to pay bills and wage loss and leave future damages till these children stabilize – silence.  My comment is that if companies do not step up and help, we will step up and help them change their mind.