Commercial manufacturer alleges product liability

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 4, 2015


A Montgomery County food service company has sued a Georgia vendor in a food safety incident.

Keystone Foods, of Conshohocken, filed a lawsuit Feb. 17 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Atlantic Dry Ice (ADI) of Gainesville, Georgia, alleging negligence in management standards.

According to the complaint, Keystone Foods entered a corporate purchase agreement with Atlantic Dry Ice in June 2010 that ADI would provide dry ice and other carbon dioxide-based products. The CPA stipulated the product be suitable for beverages, i.e. a quality level higher than food grade standards, the suit states, as well as free from defects in workmanship or material. Keystone Food alleges it informed ADI their product would be used in food intended for human consumption, and maintains the CPA holds Keystone harmless in any related claims, losses or judgments.

According to the suit, metal pieces were discovered in the chicken product and also in the defendant’s vats of dry ice between Oct. 3 and Oct. 9, 2013. Testing revealed the vats to be the source of the metal, the suit states, and Keystone was advised Oct. 4, 2013, that ADI had experienced mechanical failures but did not inform Keystone voluntarily.

The plaintiff alleges ADI had failed to replace older equipment and, consequently, internal machine parts failed and tainted the dry ice supply, potentially exposing 44 vats of raw chicken to contamination. Keystone was forced to quarantine and destroy large amounts of its product, incurring monetary losses, the suit states. Keystone alleges breach of warranty.

Keystone seeks compensatory damages in excess of $150,000, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by attorneys Richard Ochroch and Brett Benton of Richard Ochroch & Associates in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-CV-00756-ER.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and represents only one side of the story.

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