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.