The FSMA And The Severity Of Corporate Food Poisoning Cases
Corporate food poisoning cases have become big news lately due to several big cases pursued under the Food Safety Modernization Act or the FSMA. Corporate food distributors need to understand the importance of this law, the types of fines they could experience as a result, and how a corporate lawyer can protect them from serious fines.
The Importance Of The Food Safety Modernization Act
The FSMA was passed in 2010 and signed into effect by President Obama in early 2011. It was designed to help protect the public from contamination by creating stricter measures for preventing food contamination, rather than simply responding to cases in which it occurred. It also created bigger fines and stricter definitions of food safety protection.
As a result, corporate food distributors were under high pressure to prevent these kinds of outbreaks from occurring. Being criminally and civilly liable for these types of cases was going to start costing businesses a lot of money if they didn't comply.
It's Becoming A Big Deal
In a recent food poisoning case against a grocery products provider, they were found criminally liable for distributing contaminated salmonella. They were found guilty of willfully distributing this item and endangering the lives of millions of people. As a result, they were charged an $8 million fine and an asset forfeiture of $3.2 million.
This is the largest case of its type in history and one that may start affecting other corporate food distributors in the future. As a result, it is important to understand how to craft a good defense in these types of cases to protect a company from serious penalties and fines if they fail to protect the health and well-being of their customers.
Defenses In These Cases
A good defense in this type of corporate law case usually has to focus around proving that the sickness of those pursuing it was not caused by the food product. The way to do this is to find the food that they allegedly consumed and get it tested to prove that it was not contaminated. Even in instances where some shipments of food may have been contaminated, not all the individual products are likely to have been tainted.
In some cases, this may be hard if the client has thrown out the food. However this may be a positive boon for the case because they are likely to need evidence of owning the offending food in order to prove that they were affected by it. Failure to show they owned the food (either by physically presenting the item or a receipt with the item) is likely to get their case thrown out of court.
A good corporate lawyer can help clients better understand their rights in cases like this and how to manage them properly. They can identify a great defense and bring it forward to protect their clients against heavy lawsuits.