About E. coli Blog
Canadian food companies escape food poisoning litigation; because of Medicare, lawyer says suits are not lucrative enough to attract lawyers
Today’s Ontario Farmer reports that Canadian food poisonings lawsuits are every bit as spectacular as the U.S. cases. The largest in Canadian history involved lunchmate products from Schneider Corp., and there is an ongoing lawsuit between Schneiders and cheese supplier Parmalat.
From the article:
However, U.S. lawyer Bill Marler of Seattle, Washington, has said even though Canadian lawyers might file class-action lawsuits, but there won’t be much money for the victims, since Medicare has spared Canadian food companies from multi-million-dollar lawsuits when their products poison consumers.
Marler talked about the lack of legal action in Canada in response to a question about the recent food poisonings of dozens of people who ate at a cafeteria at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.
Marler was further cited as saying that the publicity surrounding the cases he has brought to trial in the United States has probably done more to improve food safety than the multi-million-dollar penalties companies face, since jury awards such as the $25 million settlement made by ConAgra to consumers poisoned by E. coli O157:H7 are often covered by insurance.
Fortunately, he said, the incidence of E. coli 0157:H7 has declined significantly in meats since the high-profile lawsuits, but there is a rising tide of cases involving sprouts and fresh fruits and vegetables as well as those cases involving salmonella.