Louisiana residents were lucky they were not injured in several recent Delta flights after a passenger was injured by a needle in his sandwich. Though this appears to be an intentional mishandling of food, there are people in Lake Charles and across Louisiana who have been accidentally injured by dangerous products, including dangerous food. It is true that many of the foods that end up injuring people were inadvertently tampered with, but that does not mean that injured consumers cannot hold manufacturers liable.
In this case, at least one man was injured and many other people were potentially exposed to needles that had been placed inside of their turkey sandwiches as they flew to various locations in the United States. The man who was injured received a puncture wound to the top of his mouth and is currently on anti-HIV drugs to prevent the possible spread of the disease. It is currently unknown if the man or any of the other passengers who found needles in their food will be filing product liability lawsuits against the airline or the company who prepared the food.
The Dutch company that prepared the food is working with American and Dutch law enforcement to investigate what seems to be a case of purposeful tampering with food. The company is treating the investigation as a criminal case, but even if the individual or individuals who put the needles in the sandwiches are criminally prosecuted, it will not help to cover the medical costs of the man who was punctured by the needle.
Product liability lawsuits are not just about holding a company liable for exposing customers to dangerous foods or products. Though punishment is certainly a factor, it is also about helping those who were injured by dangerous products to recover some of the costs they have been forced to endure since being exposed to unsafe products.
As Louisiana residents continue to fly domestically and abroad, it remains to be seen if such an incident will happen again.