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Litigation Funding Blog

Tainted Caramel Apple Causes Death

December 19, 2017

An elderly Rochester, Minnesota woman died in November 2014 after eating a caramel apple that turned out to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, one of the deadliest food-borne pathogens. Listeria kills approximately 260 in the United States every year and causes 1,600 illnesses.

The 83-year-old woman bought the caramel apple at a convenience store. Five days after eating the treat, she died as a result of contracting Listeria monocytogenes sepsis.

A wrongful death lawsuit is seeking $50,000 in damages, and it names as defendants the convenience store and four other entities involved in the distribution chain of the apples. The lawsuit states that as of February 2015, 35 individuals in 12 different states had been infected with Listeria monocytogenes. Seven of those affected died. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) traced the outbreak back to one of the named defendants.

The defendants are charged with breach of implied warranty; negligence; strict product liability for a manufacturing defect; and negligence per se.

The first step in cases such as this one is for the victims to obtain legal counsel from an experienced attorney. Once the lawsuit has been filed, reaching a settlement or going to court may take months or years, depending on the complexity of the case. If the family of a deceased loved one is struggling financially, pre-settlement funding may be the answer. Although litigation funding is not the answer for all plaintiffs it may make the difference by allowing them not to settle too early for too little.

A non-recourse cash advance, also referred to as a “lawsuit loan,” is approved on the merits of the case. The plaintiff, or applicant, does not need to be working and their credit history is irrelevant. Should the case be settled out-of-court or won in court, the lawsuit loan is paid back at that time. If the case does not succeed, repayment is waived and there are no strings attached.

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