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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,463

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Quote Quoting badzombie
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    U.S. law recognizes strict liability in some cases, and some other countries follow that doctrine as well. Under strict liability a seller, distributor or manufacturer of a defective product is liable to a person injured by that product regardless of whether the defendant did everything possible to make sure the defect never happened.
    This is not a situation in which strict liability would apply in U.S. law. Maybe Turks and Caicos law (which is almost certainly the law that would apply even if litigated in the U.S.) would apply strict liability in this circumstance, but I rather think that’s unlikely.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    What makes you say it would not fall under strict liability for food products? In most states, if a product was defective (the fish was), used as intended (it was eaten), and the defect caused injury (it did), then that is enough to prove strict product liability. The Turks and Caicos Islands are another derivative of the English system and they tend to follow trends from our hemisphere, so I would not be at all surprised if their law was similar.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,292

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Strict liability for food poisoning is the law in SOME states, however, this is far from a food poisoning case. In traditional food poisoning, the presumption under strict liability is that if the food was handled properly to the consumer, then there wouldn't be a problem and forestalls a lot of finger pointing between the various points in the food chain on how it got contaminated.

    This is not the case here. This is a disease that is present in the fish in the wild and there is no way of detecting it or avoiding it.

    Of course this is all 100% moot as I can't bend my mind around how US law would apply here. If this is the resort I'm suspecting it is, it is a operated by a Jamaican company and the Turks and Caicos are still a British overseas territory.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,528

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    OP should consider placing a claim with the resort's insurance carrier. In reading about Ciguatera in the Eastern Caribbean, I have found numerous references to high insurance premiums to cover claims for Ciguatera poisoning.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    1,988

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    have you contacted the resort? It is likely that they will cover expenses through their insurance in exchange for signing a nondisclosure/non disparagement agreement.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Quote Quoting badzombie
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    What makes you say it would not fall under strict liability for food products? In most states, if a product was defective (the fish was), used as intended (it was eaten), and the defect caused injury (it did), then that is enough to prove strict product liability.
    Except even in states with strict liability laws, those laws are difficult to extend to foodborne illness because by their nature most food products can never be made 100% risk-free. Factors can include the extent to which the problem can (or cannot) be reduced through proper processing and handling, the consumer's knowledge of the issue, warnings issued, the extent to which the consumer could have identified the problem through reasonable inspection, and the like. Also, even with strict liability, many states have eliminated joint and several liability for product liability, such that the consumer has to identify the entity along the production chain that is responsible for introducing the hazard and pursue that entity -- which in this type of context could take the resort out of the equation and instead require that the injured consumer pursue the company responsible for introducing the contaminated fish into the marketplace. As for the laws of the Turks & Caicos, I don't much care to speculate.
    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Of course this is all 100% moot as I can't bend my mind around how US law would apply here. If this is the resort I'm suspecting it is, it is a operated by a Jamaican company and the Turks and Caicos are still a British overseas territory.
    I think the suggestion was that there might be a way to litigate the matter in a U.S. court, depending on the resort company's U.S. operations, not that substantive U.S. law would apply to the question of liability. Even assuming sufficient U.S. contact for personal jurisdiction, I am skeptical that a U.S. court would keep the case on the basis of forum non conveniens -- with the injury, most witnesses, and most evidence being in the Turks & Caicos Islands, a U.S. court is a very inconvenient venue for litigation.

    It is possible that the resort would offer some level of compensation, or even have insurance, to cover this type of situation; you won't know until you ask, but keep in mind that a settlement will likely foreclose any further claim.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    I think there's a misunderstanding of what strict liability does. Under strict liability there is no need to prove anyone did anything wrong. The occasional widget coming off the assembly line is simply going to have a manufacturing defect regardless of the care taken in its manufacture. Or, it may have a design defect that was unknown or undetectable until the harm occurred. As a policy matter, legislatures implemented strict liability to allocate the risk of harm to the place best able to distribute the cost effectively rather than one individual or all of society bearing that cost.

    No product can be made 100% risk free. Lawn mowers can still cause harm even though manufacturers exercise great care. If a bolt nevertheless comes loose and harm results, that is strict liability. So no, you would not have to prove where the food-borne illness was introduced. That would be necessary in an ordinary negligence case, not strict liability. And in the case of strict liability, you may be able to sue the seller as well as the manufacturer.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Yes, there is a misunderstanding of product liability law in relation to food -- but the misunderstanding is yours.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    It is possible that the resort would offer some level of compensation, or even have insurance, to cover this type of situation; you won't know until you ask, but keep in mind that a settlement will likely foreclose any further claim.
    I do have to admit I have some apprehension here as it's impossible to know what future damages this may cause. Some people have symptoms for years.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Tourist Contracted Ciguatera at a 5 Star Resort in Turks and Caicos

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Yes, there is a misunderstanding of product liability law in relation to food -- but the misunderstanding is yours.
    You may well be right, but it would be more helpful if you could identify what I'm misunderstanding rather than just insisting it to be true.

    Here are some links that might be educational on the subject:

    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-ope.../#.VWs1eUaJXCs
    http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/...poisoning.html
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2009/0.../#.VWs2C0aJXCs
    http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foo.../#.VWs2I0aJXCs

    There are many others, but as you can see, establishing fault with regard to strict liability in food poisoning cases is not required.

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