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Dozens nationwide contract illness from Costco frozen berry mix

In today’s world of product safety testing and FDA standards, we expect the things we buy--from the products we use to the food we eat--to be safe, without the risk of causing injury or sickness. Unfortunately, products do come on the market sometimes that are harmful, and result in consumer injury or death. And food in restaurants as well as storebought is sometimes tainted with bacteria or other substances that cause illness.

Major wholesale retailer Costco is currently the subject of several products liability lawsuits, after selling frozen berry packages that allegedly caused dozens of people to become sick with hepatitis A. It’s unknown whether Georgia has been affected yet, as thousands of packages were reported to have been distributed by Townsend Farms and new cases are still being reported.

A woman from Lakewood, CA is among those suing Costco and Townsend Farms. Several days after consuming Townsend Farm’s Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry mix, the woman came down with alarming symptoms and was hospitalized. Diagnosed with hepatitis A, she was isolated under guarded condition. Her products liability and negligence lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

An attorney handling her case and several others says more claims are coming in, and expects even more lawsuits. About a dozen people have been hospitalized with hepatitis A across the country after eating the berry mix from Costco.

Serious illnesses like hepatitis A are the reason stringent health and safety laws exist. Most companies strive to maintain top health standards, but even so, incidents like this occur. When someone becomes ill because of a company’s products, he or she is entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Press-Telegram, “Lakewood woman sues Costco after contracting hepatitis A,” Greg Mellen, June 4, 2013

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