In Kreifall v. Excell, Excell’s “Preemption argument” was tried and soundly rejected by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court and then was denied review by the US Supreme Court in Kreifall v. Excell (Cargill subsidiary).  See online version.

Guest Blogger – Andy Weisbecker

In the Deborah Fellner v. Tri-Union Seafoods d/b/a Chicken of the Sea opinion, issued by the US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, on August 19, 2008, the court protected the right of the consumer plaintiff to pursue her claim against the manufacturer of contaminated tuna products. The defendant tuna producer had argued that the federal regulatory approach by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to the risk of mercury in tuna products had preempted the consumer’s right to proceed with her claim for damages against the producer based on New Jersey’s product liability laws. The Court of Appeals however, found that the FDA’s related activity was not sufficient to warrant the preemption of the state personal injury claims, and allowed the consumer to proceed with her action against the producer.

Continue Reading A New US Court of Appeals Decision Preserves a Consumer’s Right to Sue the Producer of Contaminated Tuna

My firm has filed lawsuits in Milwaukee on behalf of four children who were sickened by E. coli after eating at Sizzler restaurants. As the Associated Press reports, more than 60 people got sick and a 3-year-old South Milwaukee girl died after eating at the restaurants in July 2000. Investigators blamed Sizzler’s meat handling procedures for the contamination.

Milwaukee County Judge Michael Sullivan ruled in May 2002 that Excel couldn’t be sued for supplying the beef to Sizzler restaurants in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. Excel’s attorneys had argued the company wasn’t liable because it didn’t mishandle the meat and complied with U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections before shipping.

But a state appeals court overturned that ruling a year later, saying even though federal authorities inspected the meat, the processor still had to make sure it was safe. The court reinstated 14 lawsuits against Excel. Excel appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court refused to hear the appeal, clearing the way for the lawsuits.

“It is time for the company to take responsibility for its actions and compensate victims of its negligence,” said William Marler, managing partner of law firm Marler Clark, which is representing the children.