Parents of three Camden students who drank contaminated milk while on school while filing a lawsuit this week filed a federal lawsuit against a dairy company after dozens of children were sent to hospitals in the area and the product was seized from cafeterias across the country.
The dairy company Guida-Seibert, headquartered in Connecticut, was negligent in failing to prevent milk from becoming contaminated, according to a lawsuit filed in New Jersey.
Proxyacetic disinfectant is found in Guida’s low-fat milk in four schools in Camden City.
Health officials have called for milk to be withdrawn across the state, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
The parents who filed the lawsuit with Tiffany Gold, Dominic Wilson and Deborah Politt have children attending the Early Childhood Development Center and Rilta Tea Cream Elementary in Camden.
Their children were among more than 30 students taken Wednesday to Cooper University Hospital in Camden after they all had symptoms that included severe abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gas after drinking the milk, according to the lawsuit.
“Eventually, the children were released from the hospital, but because the ingestion of the chemical detergent is still so recent, plaintiffs do not know how this incident may affect their children down the road, as children of some of the now known plaintiffs continue to experience abdominal pain,” the lawsuit said. .
The lawsuit also alleges that the company violated the New Jersey Product Liability Act, and that the company negligently caused emotional distress to both the children who drank the contaminated milk and their parents.
The prosecution sought to declare that Goida had acted negligently, indemnifying and punitive damages to the plaintiffs and any other member of the class action and for the payment of attorney’s fees.
“No parent should question whether the food served to their young children at school is safe,” Samuel D. Jackson of Lento Law, one of the parents’ attorneys, said in a statement. “The alleged injustice of the dairy company Guida-Seibert described in this complaint should constitute a wake-up call for all dairy processors and food service companies serving schools that their negligence could harm young children and cause long-term negative health problems.”
Guida officials did not immediately respond to a phone call and email asking to comment on the lawsuit Friday night.
Guida has previously confirmed that the company is disposing of 1% half-liter low-fat milk cartons with a sale until April 11th. Milk is not available in retail stores.
“A food-grade disinfectant diluted with water was accidentally inserted during production,” Guida Dairy said in a statement. “Chemical odor is related to the product.
“The material found in the cartons has been determined to be a non-toxic biodegradable disinfectant that passes through the pre-milk power machines,” the school district said in a series of Twitter posts.
Camden school officials said 95 cartons of Guida’s milk were seized and eight contaminated with a Vortexx product.
Camden County health officials said if parents have concerns, they should contact their primary care physician or visit a medical clinic, or call the county hotline at 856-549-0530.
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