Woman says Foster Farms chicken was contaminated, made her ill. Defense verdict. Los Angeles County.


Woman says she consumed contaminated chicken processed by Foster Farms, her preferred brand of chicken, which caused Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The Case

  • Case Name: Ruth Rivera v. Foster Poultry Farms
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles County Superior Court / BC531764
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 05, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, December 27, 2013
  • Type of Case: Food Poisoning, Products Liability
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon.William Fahey
  • Plaintiffs:
    Ruth Rivera, 40, part-time sales and Leo Lopez
  • Defendants:
    Foster Poultry Farms
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict.
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 13 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP by Browne Greene, Santa Monica.

    Balaban and Spielberger LLP by Daniel Balaban, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Archer Norris by Sharon C. Collier and Kenneth C. Ward, Walnut Creek.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff claimed that she became ill after eating chicken produced by Defendant Foster Farms.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff Ruth Rivera claimed that she developed Guillain-Barre syndrome as a result of consuming Foster Poultry Farms chicken allegedly contaminated with Campylobacter Jejuni bacteria. She pled causes of action for strict liability product manufacturing defect, breach of implied warranty, and negligence. Plaintiff Leo Lopez brought a loss of consortium claim. Plaintiffs also asserted a claim for punitive damages.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant denied that plaintiff's illness came from Foster Poultry Farms chicken and that she could have picked up campylobacter from another brand of chicken or other food source.  Defendant contended that it exceeded USDA processing standards and that the chicken it sold was safe and wholesome.



Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Guillain-Barre syndrome; loss of sensation in her limbs resulted in hospitalization and left her unable to care for her special needs child.

  • Plaintiff Ruth Rivera claimed approximately $7.5 million in economic damages and requested $50 million in non-economic damages.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $0

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: None.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: None.