The parents of an 11-year-old boy who died in 2013 have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Quorn Foods, Inc. and several distributors alleging that the mycoprotein in a Quorn® Turk’y Burger caused their son to go into anaphylactic shock, which resulted in his death. Bengco v. Quorn Foods, Inc., No. BC576522 (Cal. Super. Ct., C.D. Los Angeles Cty., filed March 24, 2015). The complaint calls Quorn’s product “highly processed mold,” to which the boy had a severe allergy.

According to the complaint, the product label of Quorn’s Turk’y Burger lists “Mycoprotein (47%)” as the first ingredient, and the description explains that “’myco’ is Greek for ‘fungi.’” The description also explains that “[t]here are believed to be over 600,000 varieties of fungi in the world, many of which are among the most sought after foods like varieties of mushrooms, truffles, and morels” but the product is not, the complaint notes, a variety of mushroom, truffle or morel.

The plaintiffs allege that the product is defective by design and seek compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages from each defendant for the strict liability cause of action. They further allege failure to warn and false and misleading advertising under California law.

 

Issue 560

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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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