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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.

Listeria Laced Salad Allegedly Kills Ohio Woman

August 22, 2016

When you grocery shop, you expect your food to be safe, especially when it is bagged and looks fresh and appealing.

The salad that 79-year-old Ellen DiStefano consumed one night killed her. It was contaminated with Listeria bacteria which invaded her body putting her into a coma. Dole’s Springfield, Ohio plant was identified as the source of the Listeria tainted salads. The plant was shuttered for three months to deal with the issue.
DiStefano’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dole alleging gross negligence, malice, recklessness and wanton/willful disregard for the public. It was the second suit filed in relation to the outbreak and it alleges that Dole did not have a system in place to prevent contamination. It further alleges that the company knew about the Listeria contamination prior to the outbreak, as far back as 2014.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dole’s product showed signs of Listeria during swab rests in 2014, yet they continued to ship their salads throughout the United States and Canada. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 19 individuals were seriously affected by the tainted salads and one man in Michigan died. In Canada, there were 14 reported cases in five provinces and three deaths that may be linked to the Dole salads. It is anticipated that there will be more lawsuits filed in the months to come.

In order to pay all the medical bills incurred while Mrs. DiStephano was in hospital for a month, the family may have needed a source of income other than their jobs. One solution would be litigation funding, also referred to as a lawsuit loan.

A litigation funding company provides an immediate cash advance to fund a lawsuit using a very simple three-step, no risk process. Plaintiffs fill out an intake form, as well as the lawyer questionnaire form, and send in the relevant paperwork. Once approved, plaintiffs can receive their fast cash in as little as two days.

There is no longer any need for plaintiffs to settle for pennies on the dollar. Litigation funding allows the plaintiffs to let their lawyers do their jobs and the cases to run their course to a fair and equitable conclusion. Do not agree to an unfair settlement because you are strapped for cash. A lawsuit loan can level the playing field between you and the insurance company.

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