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Failure to warn may have led to child's death

The bakery section of the grocery store is filled with a variety of products that include bread and sweet deserts. Parents shopping with their children may sometimes stop at one of these counters to purchase a little treat for a well behaved child. For parents of children with allergies, the labels on these foods are critically important. After a fatal accident, one family is taking a grocery store to task for what it believes is a violation of food labeling laws.

A Tennessee family is mourning the loss of their 11-year old son. The family alleges that he passed away from a severe allergic reaction that resulted from exposure to tree nuts. While visiting a Publix grocery store, the mother inquired about the nut content of a chocolate chip cookie before letting her son consume the cookie. The family believes that he died from anaphylactic shock.

In addition to alleging that Publix Super Market Inc. failed to properly train their employee, the family also believes that the company violated the federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. The act requires that baked goods also list all potential allergens that are present in an item. Cross-contamination is also a major concern for individuals with food allergies.

Though this incident occurred in another state, the law suit may result in problems for all Publix stores, including those in Louisiana. Cases such as this one are a form of product liability. Insufficient warnings are a potential cause of action in these types of cases. Consumers who have been affected by a defective product may seek to take legal action to protect their interests.

Source: ABA Journal, "After boy's death from allergic reaction to cookie, family sues; says store violated labeling laws," Martha Neil, March 25, 2015

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