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Could a mislabeled Oscar Mayer wiener cause a wrongful death?

From auto defects to harmful foods, it seems as though there is a new recall every week. Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped. Kraft Foods recalled a large amount of their Oscar Mayer wieners due to potentially serious health issues. In some cases, these health issues could be fatal. If so, the company may find itself facing products liability wrongful death in jurisdictions throughout the United States, including West Virginia.

Nearly 100,000 pounds of wieners were recalled due to the possibility of having been mislabeled. Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners may actually be packaged with cheese wieners. Therefore, these wieners could possibly contain a milk product, and that could lead to serious injury or even death for some consumers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken this recall seriously. In fact, it is labeled as a Class I recall. This simply means that there is a strong possibility that consumers using this product could suffer health problems. Those who have significant milk and cheese allergies could be at risk if they were to consume these apparently mislabeled wieners.

The USDA and Kraft Foods both say that they have not received any complaints regarding health issues. Nonetheless, the cause for concern is there, and those in West Virginia who have suffered because of this apparent product defect may decide to consider what legal recourse may be available. In cases where a fatality occurred, a products liability claim citing wrongful death may be an option. The victim's surviving family will need to prove that Kraft Foods was indeed negligent in its packaging process and that the negligence contributed to the consumer's death.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Kraft Foods recalls 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer wieners for mislabeling", Jenn Harris, April 21, 2014

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