Earlier this month, legal action was filed against yogurt manufacturer Chobani regarding possible ill effects resulting from mold in its yogurt. While it is currently unclear, Chobani may be facing personal injury and/or product liability claims regarding these selected products. In late August, the company began receiving complaints regarding fizzy, bloated yogurt cups.
On September 5, the company issued a formal recall following confirmation that a “common mold” had affected certain products. The next day, an update on the Chobani website stated that after “extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold… is a species called Mucor circinelloides.”
Harold Green, a California resident, filed a proposed class action lawsuit on September 9, alleging breach of implied warranty of merchantability and negligence. Green claims that the mold strain was not initially identified by the company, leaving “potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of Chobani consumers… in the dark.”
According to the FDA, they have received over 220 reports of cramps, diarrhea, headache, and nausea following the consumption of Chobani products. However, the FDA stressed that these complaints do not prove that sickness was actually caused by the Chobani yogurts.
Though Green is currently not specifically seeking damages for personal injury or food poisoning, the claim states: “The presence of a harmful or potentially harmful strain of mold [in] its yogurt is a direct result of the failure of Chobani to manufacturer its Greek yogurt within the industry standards. As a result of Chobani’s actions, Plaintiff and members of the Class and Sub-Class were harmed financially and physically, and suffered damages as a result.”
Though there are some doubts that this lawsuit will qualify for class action status, it is possible that individuals who suffered personal injury as a result of consuming the tainted yogurt can recover damages through individual litigation. The formal recall issued by Chobani affects lot code 16-012, with expiration dates on the yogurt between September 11 and October 7, 2013.