I’ve been watching this aspect of things play out, and I think these lawsuits are going to be a very big deal. There are simply not enough assets or insurance held by the primary businesses responsible for this outbreak to even remotely compensate the families for their losses. Everyone is going to get sued, and for big money. This could have major implications for how grocery stores and third-party auditors do business.
The three prime targets of lawsuits in the cantaloupe listeria outbreak have just $17 million in liability coverage for more than 130 illness cases that could easily cost more than $100 million, say experts in liability law.
The Denver Post reports the wide gap could make new legal targets out of grocery stores, distributors and auditing labs as victims seek richer funds for compensation, according to product-law experts.
“If they can get the deep pockets in, they’re going to get them in,” said Denver lawyer Justin Prochnow.
“I think the case as a whole has the potential to make new law in Colorado,” said lawyer Scott Eldredge, a malpractice and liability specialist who also teaches at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.