Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
In response to a multi-state outbreak of Hepatitis A, public health officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are conducting ongoing investigations. While Hepatitis A is common in developing countries, it is rare in the United States. Hepatitis A is one of the most frequent causes of foodborne infection and can resist food-preparation processes. As of August 1, 2013, there are 158 confirmed hepatitis cases from eating "Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend," a frozen berry and pomegranate product. The suspected source of the virus is a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading, a Turkish company. The FDA is now detaining shipments of pomegranate seeds from this company.
According to the FDA spokesperson, “This outbreak highlights the food safety challenge posed by today’s global food system. The presence in a single product of multiple ingredients from multiple countries compounds the difficulty of finding the cause of an illness outbreak. The Hepatitis A outbreak shows how we have improved our ability to investigate and respond to outbreaks, but also why we are working to build a food safety system that more effectively prevents them.”
Consumers are advised to not eat any recalled products. I have been contacted by two victims of defective products that were contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus, one of whom underwent a liver transplant. Should you or someone you know have any questions about your legal rights, please feel free to contact me.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers (2013 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2013)– national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.