Wrongful Death in the Maine Lobster Fishery
It’s no surprise that a food chain suing another for wrongful termination would come from one of America’s top seafood restaurants. The two companies involved are Red Lobster and W.L.F. Seafoods. Red Lobster purports that its environmental sustainability claims are true, but that is far from all they claim. They have been battling Red Lobster in court ever since the seafood giant started selling its clams and shrimp online and off.
Red Lobster Lawsuit
What’s really intriguing about this lawsuit is the fact that it has such a similarity to the recent Norwegian salmon lawsuit. The plaintiffs in that case were trying to hold negligent parties accountable for releasing dangerous levels of methyl mercury into the water supply.
Like Red Lobster, the plaintiffs also claim that Red Lobster failed to maintain adequate quality control measures. Similar to the Norwegian salmon lawsuit, however, the plaintiffs argue that because Red Lobsters sold their clams and shrimp in similar packaging, the company was more likely to sell those items in dirty containers. In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs ask that their cases be allowed to go forward so that they can receive monetary settlements.
Both lawsuits seek to hold the defendant (Red Lobsters) responsible for the pollution of the ocean and for failing to prevent or warn consumers that dirty seafood is present in the product they’re purchasing.
Red Lobster’s proposed class action lawsuit comes from sources shrimp and clams, as well as from various restaurants that sell the product. One of the reasons why the company hasn’t brought up a case before now is because they feel like they haven’t sufficiently provided proof that the clams and shrimp are harmful.
According to the Proposed Class Action Lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Pollutants Specialized Industrial Product Review Panel, the sale of “densely packed” clams and “highly acidic” shrimp products caused an outbreak of Salmonella Poina.
When diners in restaurants began experiencing nausea, headaches, muscle cramps and other sickness after consuming these products, they began to join the class-action lawsuit.
The illnesses were blamed on using chemicals in the packaging of these foods. The Minnesota Pollutants Specialized Industrial Product Review Panel found that because of the contamination, Red Lobsters didn’t maintain proper levels of control over the amount of chemicals used in the making of their products. This evidence indicates that the company didn’t make any attempt to warn customers about the possibility of contaminated seafood.
The Proposed Class Action Lawsuit further states that because of this, the company is responsible for:
Acherestis, a class-action suit that was filed against the Food and Drug Administration by individuals claiming to have become sickened after eating some of the shrimp product; Coccidioides, which the FDA and the state of Minnesota determined had been used in the packaging of the shrimp product; Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which the FDA and the state also determined had been used in the production of Red Lobster’s product; and the use of SLS, or Sodium Sulfate, which has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including cancer and neurological disorders. The Proposed Class Action Lawsuit further states that because of these, the company has been ordered to compensate for:
“emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, medical bills, prescription and drug costs, disability income and loss, future earnings, lost wages, past medical care, and future earning capacity, along with other reasonably incurred expenses.” The Proposed Class Action Lawsuit further requests that all damages are awarded to the named plaintiffs only. The suit is currently pending in the Minnesota Federal District Court. If approved, it will mark the first time that consumers will be able to sue major corporations over what are known as negligent shipping activities.
Right whales and red lobster are two of the most popular and high-end seafood species throughout the world.
For years, many fishermen have relied on using depleted, dangerous fishing methods to extract these precious commodities from the sea floors. These methods have led to the depletion of red lobster and other species of Maine’s Maine lobster fishery.
However, the new lawsuit, filed in the state of Maine, against defendant Red Lobster LLC, is not your typical seafood lawsuit. Rather, it is a case that revolves around the wrongful death of an entire family – the Le Cordon Bleu High School Syndrome plaintiffs. If successful, this lawsuit may set a precedent for similar cases all over the country.