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Current Trends in Food Safety Litigation


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: March 12, 2019
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Agenda


  • Overview of Food-borne illnesses
  • The Legal Consequence of Poor Food Safety
  • How to determine the strength of a food-borne illness claims
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: March 12, 2019

Description

Producers and consumers each ahve a role in ensuring the safety of America's food supply. Unfortunately, outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are all too common. In this program, you will learn about trends in food safety litigation and be introduced to critical issues in food safety, as well as the rapidly-developing case law on this topic.

This program was recorded on March 12th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association

Panelists

William Marler

Partner
Marler Clark

An accomplished attorney and national expert in food safety, William (Bill) Marler has become the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death.

Bill began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company. The 2011 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, by best-selling author Jeff Benedict, chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and the rise of Bill Marler as a food safety attorney.

For the last 25 years, Bill has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, filing lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, Chili’s, Chi-Chi’s, Chipotle, ConAgra, Dole, Excel, Golden Corral, KFC, McDonald’s, Odwalla, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Sizzler, Supervalu, Taco Bell and Wendy’s. Through his work, he has secured over $600,000,000 for victims of E. coli, Salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses.

Among the most notable cases he has litigated, Bill counts those of nineteen-year-old dancer Stephanie Smith, who was sickened by an E. coli-contaminated hamburger that left her brain damaged and paralyzed, and Linda Rivera, a fifty-seven-year-old mother of six from Nevada, who was hospitalized for over 2 years after she was stricken with what her doctor described as “the most severe multi-organ [bowel, kidney, brain, lung, gall bladder, and pancreas] case of E. coli mediated HUS I have seen in my extensive experience.”

New York Times reporter Michael Moss won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Smith’s case, which was settled by Cargill in 2010 for an amount “to care for her throughout her life.” Linda’s story hit the front page of the Washington Post and became Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s touchstone for successfully moving forward the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2010.

Tommy Tobin

Co-Chair - Food, Cosmetics, & Nutraceuticals Committee
ABA Section of Science & Technology Law

Tommy's practice includes litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country. And his writing on law and policy issues has appeared in scholarly journals and newspapers throughout the United States.


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