We certainly all know that in Illinois we don’t have the resources, staff or monies to properly and safely safeguard our food supply. And for that reason, many agree that the safeguard largely falls to the trial lawyers to help protect all consumers. It is not uncommon for food companies and food-related companies to place profits over safety and especially if they can get away with it.
It has been recognized by many that seeking justice in court has proven to be one of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for seeking recoveries for victims but also helping to deter such bad behaviors from corporate America.
Every year, about 48 million people get sick in the United States requiring hospitalization and at least 3,000 people die from food borne illnesses, with costs to the United States of about 77 billion dollars. But these numbers only reflect the reported cases and so many more go unreported. We certainly all recognize that we have a greater dependency in this country for industrialized farming strategies with heavy use of pharmaceuticals with livestock and proportionate rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”, with vast amounts of waste from large farm operations poisoning groundwater supplies and nearby crops. In fact, contamination is so widespread that leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce are now the second most frequent cause of food related hospitalizations and the fifth most frequent case of food contamination/death. [Tip – let’s not assume that all prewashed vegetables are ready for consumption. Do take the time to properly wash them before consumption].
Unfortunately, so many of the causes for food borne illnesses are unknown – no clear and concise track record of problems from any one company or any specific, set type of problem. For these reasons, we have lots of isolated issues all over the country.
As attorneys, we use discovery tools in litigation to help producers, supplier’s buyers, and auditors to disclose the incident information which then helps trace how the food became contaminated in the first place.
All the discovery utilized helps pinpoint the negligent parties. We think that many recognize that the scrutiny from federal agencies, the media and subsequent litigation by attorneys has prompted a paradigm shift in food safety procedures. And more and stiffer regulations are now being promulgated.
So even with these enhanced protections for the public, each of us needs to be diligent and watchful for hazards. Take all precautions in the purchase and consumption of raw or prepared food products.
Our firm handles a number of these cases and as with any such negligent conduct, the sooner our firm is retained, the better we can hopefully then do our investigation and uncover the cause of the problem and identify wrongdoers responsible.
Have you or a loved one been harmed by unsafe, contaminated or toxic food? Contact a Mount Vernon personal injury lawyer at Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. today by calling 800-553-3125 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page.