On May 7, Denis Stearns will be making a presentation in New Orleans at the GMA Foodborne Illness Litigation Conference. The title of his presentation is Lessons Learned Recent Outbreaks and Recalls, with a subtitle of 2007-2008, The Salmonella Years & The Lessons We Learned. In the presentation, Denis will discuss how the recent Salmonella mega-outbreaks involving contaminated Veggie Booty snacks, frozen pot pies, and peanut butter have revealed how outbreak have demographics just like products do. Moreover, understanding these demographics is crucial to the effective representation of the victims, including decisions about how best to communicate with clients, and to manage expectations about the legal process and likely outcomes. The presentation will also look at the unsuccessful attempts by some plaintiff attorneys to use class actions to handle the injury claims arising from these mega-outbreaks.

  • Bill – I would like to see you write about what appears to me to be the abuse of the class action vehicle in food cases. It is virtually impossible to certify these cases and yet certain lawyers continue to attempt to do so. Are you aware of a successful class certification in a food case that actually served the interest of the class members?