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Dole battles civil litigation after listeria outbreak

A Dole plant in Springfield, Ohio, that was allegedly the source of a dangerous listeria outbreak is now facing legal action from victims who suffered illnesses because of the contamination. The company is embroiled in civil litigation from the 19 victims who were hospitalized, one of whom died after contracting the illness. Official reports show that two claimants have settled with Dole for an undisclosed amount, and other victims may follow suit.

The legal action stems from a listeria outbreak that shut down the Springfield plant in early 2016 after salads packaged at the facility were found to contain listeria. Production stopped at the facility in late January 2016 and did not resume until April of that year. Dole continues to maintain that the salads were not contaminated until after they left the processing facility. In all, the outbreak affected patients in nine states and five Canadian provinces. Each one of the U.S. cases required that the victims be hospitalized.

Two elderly Ohio women are currently seeking legal redress through the state courts for their injuries associated with the outbreak. Additional cases are being managed by attorneys nationwide, according to food safety news sources. Some parties may choose to settle, but negotiations are ongoing in several of the cases.

Victims who claim to have been harmed by manufacturing processes or dangerous products may choose to pursue business litigation. Civil litigation for professional malpractice or business negligence can be scary for business owners, but you do have legal options. Improve your chances for success in court by enlisting the help of an experienced attorney. Your livelihood is too important to allow business litigation to take it away.

Source: Food Safety News, "Two lawsuits over last year’s Listeria outbreak settled by Dole," Dan Flynn, April 30, 2017

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