A number of popular baby foods have high levels of dangerous heavy metals. According to a recent Congressional investigation, the companies knew about this flaw, but sold tainted baby food anyway.
Internal tests at Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Gerber, Nurture, Inc. (Happy Baby products), and Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food (Hain Celestial Group, Inc.) all revealed metal content well above safe levels, as determined by government regulators.
Several other manufacturers, including Walmart and Sprout Organic Foods, refused to cooperate with the investigation, lawmakers asserted.
These metals, which were once a staple of commercial pesticides, are a carcinogen and neurotoxin. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) called the conclusions “shocking.”
In response, Beech-Nut, Gerber, Nurture, and Earth’s Best all asserted that their products were safe. Sprout and Walmart claimed they promptly and honestly answered lawmakers’ inquiries.
Extremely tiny amounts of heavy metals are not harmful. However, repeated exposure to substances which contain these metals, like certain brands of baby food, cause metallosis (metal poisoning), a condition similar to blood poisoning.
Initially, metal particles kill bone, blood, and other cells. This poisoning causes mild pain and loss of function.
Most parents and doctors never imagine that metallosis is the source of these vague symptoms.
Eventually, metallosis impedes cognitive ability and compromises the nervous system.
Telltale physical evidence of metallosis includes skin discoloration and a brown, yellow, or gray fluid which oozes from the body.
Effective metallosis treatments, such as chelating, are available.
A drug binds with metal ions in the blood and releases them from the body. Some physical therapy is usually involved as well.
Unfortunately, powerful drugs and extensive physical therapy are not really an option for infants on baby food.
Additionally, chelation therapy does not remove all metal particles from the body.
As a result, infant metallosis often causes permanent injuries.
The physical injuries are only part of the picture. The aforementioned cognitive impairments have a multiplying effect over time.
These children fall a little behind in kindergarten, a little further behind in first grade, and so on.
So, by the time they reach high school or even middle school, their futures are not very bright.
Diagnosis and Treatment Issues
These physical and mental symptoms may not become apparent for many years.
The statute of limitations in product liability cases is only two years.
So, the statute of limitations has long since passed by the time these victims become noticeably ill.
The delayed discovery rule preserves the legal rights of these victims. New York victims are not legally required to file claims until:
- They know the full extent of their injuries, and
- They connect those injuries to the defendant’s products or activities.
The Empire State is one of only two states in the Union without a statute of repose.
Therefore, delayed discovery rule arguments are a bit easier for a New York personal injury attorney to win.
Assume Philip’s parents fed him Gerber baby food. They were unaware of its dangers. When he starts school, Philip has problems keeping up with the class.
He also begins experiencing joint pain. When he is in middle school, tests reveal elevated levels of heavy metals in his body.
When he is researching a high school paper, he stumbles across an article about high metal levels in Gerber baby food.
The insurance company would probably argue that the two-year statute of limitation clock began ticking when Philip was in junior high school.
But legally, the clock did not start ticking until circumstances satisfied both elements of the delayed discovery rule.
Procedurally, Philip’s New York personal injury attorney would evaluate his claim and then send a demand letter to the insurance company.
Most likely, the insurance company would either ignore this letter or make a low-ball settlement offer.
The insurance company is betting on a motion to dismiss the case because the statute of limitations has expired.
Once the judge overrules this motion, the matter would probably go to mediation.
During mediation, a neutral third party, who is normally an unaffiliated New York personal injury lawyer, works to facilitate a settlement.
If both parties negotiate in good faith, which means they are willing to compromise, medication is usually successful.
Consuming tainted baby food now often creates serious problems in later years. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC.