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Lawsuit Filed After Child Ingests Tainted Hiland Dairy Product at Hospital

Milk jars.

Front view of a drinking glass, a bottle and a jug filled with fresh organic vegan milks surrounded by oat flakes, soy beans, quinoa seeds, rice grains, spelt grains, hazelnuts, almonds and coconuts pieces. Low key DSLR photo taken with Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L

The mother of an injured minor has filed suit on her behalf after the child allegedly consumed Hiland Dairy Foods Company, L.L.C. (Hiland) chocolate milk contaminated with food-grade sanitizers. The complaint, filed Jan. 22, explains that five days earlier, the minor drank a tainted half-pint while admitted as a patient to SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The filing states that Hiland makes various dairy products and operates 17 plants and 51 distribution centers across Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. Hiland allegedly informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the lapse in protocol on Jan. 17, which reportedly resulted in “a small amount of one product being incorrectly filled” at its Norman, Oklahoma, facility. The complaint contends that the chocolate milk containers were filled with Synergex, a chemical used to clean dairy processing equipment and surfaces.

The plaintiff brings one cause of action, product defect, claiming that the chocolate milk was “not reasonably fit for the ordinary purposes for which the product was sold.” For the minor’s ostensibly “serious and disabling personal injuries,” the plaintiff seeks damages for presently incurred and future medical expenses, physical pain, and mental anguish.

According to Hiland’s recall, posted on the FDA’s website, only its one-half pint 1% low fat chocolate milk product dated with a Jan. 27 sell-by date and labeled with a certain product code was impacted. The notice states that the recalled product was distributed to institutional customers in Texas and Oklahoma, including in several major cities.

The plaintiff is represented by Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst.

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