An Edmonton, Alberta, resident has filed a putative class action against a
beef processor with operations in Alberta and Nebraska, alleging that he
became severely ill from consuming the company’s beef, which was recalled
in September 2012 due to an E. coli outbreak. Harrison v. XL Foods Inc., No.
1203-14727 (Can. Alta. Q.B., filed October 2, 2012).

Seeking to certify province-wide and nationwide classes of plaintiffs “who purchased and/or consumed the Recalled Products,” the plaintiff alleges strict liability, breach of the Fair Trading Act, negligence, waiver of tort/disgorgement, and vicarious liability. He requests punitive and actual damages, as well as non-pecuniary general damages, pecuniary damages, disgorgement of revenues, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest. He also seeks a declaration that the recalled products are contaminated.

According to news sources, plaintiff Matthew Harrison fell ill after eating
allegedly contaminated steak, purchased at a Costco store, at a friend’s house.
He was purportedly hospitalized and missed a week’s work. The Canadian
Food Inspection Agency started warning the public and distributors about
the allegedly tainted meat products on September 16, several weeks after
the plaintiff consumed the product. Routine testing on September 4 reportedly
showed a positive E. coli sample at the defendant’s Alberta facility. The
company has since recalled more than 1,500 meat products from major
retailers; a number of illnesses have reportedly been linked to the company’s
beef products. See CTVNews and Law360, October 3, 2012.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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