Botulism Cases Lead to $40 Million Lawsuit Against Factory Equipment Maker
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC has filed a complaint in federal court against the company that made the food-sterilization system used to process Castleberry hot dog chili sauce that, in 2007, was contaminated with Clostridium botulinum and led to a nationwide recall of under-processed products. Bumble Bee Foods, LLC v. Malo, Inc., No. 09-042 (S.D. Ga., filed March 26, 2009).
Alleging negligent design, failure to warn and negligence, Bumble Bee describes the factory-equipment defect that resulted in incomplete sterilization of its subsidiary’s canned foods. The food manufacturer claims that its 2007 product recall, a two-month plant shutdown and a number of claims filed by individuals who purportedly contracted botulism as a result of eating the tainted products cost the company in excess of $40 million. The complaint alleges that the defendant was aware of the defects “but took no steps either to correct these defects or to advise Bumble Bee or Malo’s other customers of the serious safety issues posed by these defects in its products.”