Dr. Vahid Berdjis and his wife, Nafiseh, and their two children were shocked to find live worms crawling out of their fish at dinnertime.
According to a City News Service report, the family has filed a product liability lawsuit against Costco alleging that the halibut they purchased from a San Dimas store in 2021 contained live worms that were crawling even after the fish was cooked.
Live Worms in Food: Product Liability Issues
According to the complaint, the family bought a Kirkland Fresh Wild Pacific Halibut Fillet package last March 18 from their local Costco store and cooked it the same day. After the parents ate some of the fish, they shared it with their daughter. Numerous live worms crawled out as the 13-year-old girl began to pick through the fish with her fork. The lawsuit states that the couple’s son was also present, adding that the entire family experienced severe emotional distress and fear while the children “vowed never to eat seafood again.”
The family believes Costco has known about this defect and failed to warn consumers and that employees in the store’s food sections, including those in charge, don’t have adequate knowledge and training in food safety. The lawsuit alleges negligence, breach of warranty, products liability, failure to warn, and violation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law. The family is seeking at least $200,000 in damages.
A Word About Food Safety
This story involving live worms in distributed seafood hits close to home for us as we grapple with the thought of how food safety issues affect us all. Companies or entities that manufacture, process, distribute and serve food must take every possible care to make sure that the food they sell to the public is safe for consumption.
This means exercising all forms of due diligence, including inspecting the food, tossing out suspect foods, ensuring the environment is clean and sanitized, ensuring sick employees are not handling food, etc. Whether it is a food manufacturing or processing company, a retailer, wholesaler, or a restaurant or cafeteria serving the food, everyone has a responsibility and obligation to ensure food safety.
If you or a loved one has suffered the adverse effects of contaminated or defective food products, it is important that you report it to your local health agency, receive medical attention, and contact an experienced California food personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled product liability and food poisoning cases, to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.