A 25-year-old Philadelphia woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against Fresh Express and Fresh Grocer grocery store chain, alleging that her unborn child died after she ate spinach contaminated with listeria. According to a report in Philly Voice, Mecca Shabazz said in the lawsuit that she was 30 weeks and six days pregnant when she was diagnosed with Covid-19. Her fetus was deemed healthy, and she was sent home to quarantine.
Listeria from Contaminated Spinach
While at home, she said she consumed a smoothie made with Fresh Express baby spinach purchased at a Fresh Grocer store in Philadelphia. She was back in the hospital in a few days, where doctors determined that her fetus no longer had a heartbeat. An autopsy revealed listeria as the sole cause of death. Five days later, Fresh Express issued a voluntary recall of more than 200 of its bagged salad mixes connected to an outbreak that included 10 confirmed cases in eight states, including two in Pennsylvania.
The baby spinach that Shabazz sate was among the products included in the recall. The recalled products were distributed to 19 states. The complaint filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia alleges Fresh Grocer and Fresh Express are strictly liable for the unborn child’s wrongful death and the bodily injury and emotional distress of Shabazz, who was expecting her first child.
The Dangers of Listeria
This case is a sad example of how a case of food poisoning can result in heartbreak and tragedy. Listeria bacteria cause an illness called listeriosis. This typically happens with contaminated food. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant people, newborns, fetuses, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
Even though food poisoning symptoms can be mild among pregnant women, the illness can cause serious disease in the fetus, in some cases proving lethal. Studies show that pregnant women are 10 times more likely to become infected with listeria. Listeria infection could lead to stillbirth, miscarriage or preterm labor.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have developed a listeria infection from a food product contaminated by the bacteria, make sure you isolate the leftover food, so no one else in your household consumes it. Get medical attention, treatment, and care for your illness as soon as possible, and follow the doctor’s orders for treatment and care. Report your illness to your local health care agency, which tends to track trends in food-borne illnesses. Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who can help you secure compensation for damages
such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress.