Stockton, California


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Howard Knapp
Howard Knapp
Contributor •

Sizzler Settlement relates to Current Tomato Scare

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After eight years of battling insurance companies and mega corporations, the Kriefall family has finally held Sizzler responsible for their 3-year old daughter’s death. In 2000, the girl died of E-coli exposure when a piece of the watermelon she was eating came into contact with tainted meat in a Sizzler restaurant. A week later she died of several complications including kidney failure.

This case can be related to the current tomato salmonella scare taking place across the U.S. While the 13.5 million dollar settlement agreement only happened a few days ago, restaurants and supermarkets globally may have already taken note of the dangers of selling a tainted product. I have already seen these precautions in local delis and sandwich shops in the Stockton area, where tomatoes, as much as I plead, are not being put on my sandwich. This is an example of how the legal system can direct and influence how companies act in society, whether it is a Sizzler, or a local deli.

I sincerely hope that the reason supermarkets and delis are no longer serving tomatoes is because they are looking out for the consumer’s well being, not their own backs. But, either way the purpose of the civil justice system is achieved by protecting the public through encouraging safer practices.