Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Aldi supermarket fights lawsuit of Pittsburgh woman allegedly maimed by exploding turkey burger


By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 12, 2019

PITTSBURGH – The Aldi supermarket chain is opposing the claims of a Pittsburgh woman who claims to have been burned and permanently scarred as a result of an exploding turkey burger.

Gloria Besley of Pittsburgh initially filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 25 versus Aldi, Inc. of Batavia, Ill.

In her litigation, Besley explained she purchased Kirkwood-brand turkey burgers from an Aldi supermarket in Pittsburgh last July and brought them home to prepare at a later date.

“On or about Aug. 19, 2018, plaintiff removed the subject turkey burgers from her freezer and followed the ‘to fry’ instructions on the packaging, which provided as follows: ‘Preheat skillet on medium heat. Cook frozen burgers in a small amount of vegetable oil 7-9 minutes per side,” the suit stated.

“Plaintiff precisely followed these instructions, and soon after placing one of the frozen turkey burgers in a small amount of vegetable oil, the burger exploded, causing plaintiff to suffer second-degree burns to both hands and forearms, and associated permanent scarring.”

Besley claimed Aldi placed a defective and unsafe product into the stream of commerce, failed to warn of the dangers of the product and failed to provide proper safety and operational instructions to end users, among other forms of negligence-related liability.

Aldi responded to the lawsuit on March 15, denying Besley’s claims in their entirety. The supermarket chain said the claims were barred by the plaintiff’s own negligence in not following the written instructions on the product’s package, the doctrines of estoppel, laches, release, res judicata and waiver, in addition to the applicable statute of limitations and spoliation of evidence.

On April 2, Besley’s counsel responded to the defendant.

“Defendant’s new matter contain conclusions of law or mixed conclusions of fact and law to which no responsive pleading is required pursuant to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and which are therefore denied,” the reply motion read.

Proceedings remain ongoing.

For counts of strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $35,000, as well as any such other relief as the court deems adequate, just and proper.

The plaintiff is represented by Anthony J. Giannetti of Swartz Culleton, in Pittsburgh.

The defendant is represented by Jacob F. Kratt of Leader Berkon Colao & Silverstein, in Philadelphia.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-19-001306

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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