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First lawsuit over tainted Italian pastries

April 4, 2011

The latest numbers show 56 people received Salmonella poisoning after consuming Zeppoles from DeFusco’s bakery in Johnston.  Everyone affected is from Rhode Island, except for one Massachusetts family.  That family is also the first to file a lawsuit against DeFusco’s.  The suit calls DeFusco’s out for product liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.

The defendant owed to the plaintiffs a duty to use reasonable care in the
manufacture, distribution, and sale of its food products, the observance of which duty would have prevented or eliminated the risk that the defendant’s food products would become contaminated with Salmonella or any other dangerous pathogen. The defendant breached this duty by failing to exercise reasonable care in the manufacture, distribution and sale of the food product.

The plaintiffs in this case are Erin Carrera and her son (a minor who is not identified).  According to the complaint, Carrera bought Zeppoles from DeFusco’s on March 18th.  Her her son ate one one of the pastries that day and another the following day.  He started to experience abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever by March 19th and eventually had to seek medical treatment.  The suit asks for-

Sufficient damages to compensate her and J.C. e for the loss and damages incurred, and such other and further relief as this Court deems meet and just.

This is the first lawsuit to my knowledge, but unlikely to be the last.  Carrera’s lawyer Patrick T. Jones, with Cooley Manion Jones LLP in Boston says he’ll let the complaint speak for itself. The suit is filed jointly with Marler Clark LLP in Seattle, Washington- a law firm that specializes in food poisoning lawsuits.

DeFusco’s could not be reached for comment.  Phone numbers for the bakery have been disconnected.

Extra (thanks to Felice Freyer at the Projo)- check out a blog entry from the law firm on RI’s Zeppole situation.

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