Daily Harvest Recall Lawsuit

In June 2022, the on-demand fresh company Daily Harvest issued a safety recall of its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles product.

The recall came after Daily Harvest received over 400 reports of customers having severe gastrointestinal liver function reactions to the product. Many customers who experienced these adverse reactions actually have to have emergency surgery to remove their gallbladders.

Individuals who consumed the potentially contaminated Daily Harvest Crumbles products and experienced severe reactions and/or permanent organ damage are now filing product liability lawsuits and seeking financial compensation.

Our law firm is looking to file Daily Harvest lawsuits for victims harmed by contaminated Daily Harvest lentils or Crumbles products.

Daily Harvest Recall Updates 

November 21, 2022 Update: A federal court in New York ruled last week that Daily Harvest lawsuits will be subject to mandatory arbitration and cannot be filed in civil court. The ruling came in the case of Breanne Peni, who filed one of the first lawsuits claiming that she suffered intestinal pain leading to surgical removal of her gallbladder after eating recalled lentils from Daily Harvest.

Daily Harvest moved to dismiss the case by enforcing an arbitration clause in the service agreement that all customers agree to when they sign up for Daily Harvest food delivery. Peni argued that the forced arbitration clause in the service agreement was unenforceable, but the court disagreed and held that Peni had waived her right to bring her claim in civil court. Instead, Peni (and the other Daily Harvest plaintiffs) may be required to go after Daily Harvest in arbitration. But this is just one ruling. 

July 25, 2002: a recent lawsuit filed in New York state court alleges that the recalled Daily Harvest Lentil + Leek Crumbles product caused a severe gastrointestinal reaction in a breastfeeding mother and in her baby. The plaintiff, Katherine Looby, claims that she consumed the lentil crumble product from Daily Harvest on May 23, 2022, and experienced acute gastrointestinal pain the following day. The Complaint also alleges that Looby’s baby, who was breastfeeding at the time, displayed symptoms including vomiting and dark urine. 

Looby at the Lentil product a second time on June 6 and claims that she and her baby suffered the exact same reactions. This time they had to hospitalized and elevated liver enzymes were detected. The Complaint accuses Daily Harvest of negligently failing to ensure the quality of their products. For its part, however, Daily Harvest claims that there is no apparent explanation for the reactions and tests of the product have revealed nothing.    

July 21, 2022:  Investigators now believe the source of the Daily Harvest recall problem is tara flour.  The FDA in their own statement underscores this is just a theory and there may never be definitive proof that it was tara flour or any other illness.

“Sharing preliminary information on the investigation may mislead consumers in believing that a specific ingredient was the cause of an illness or outbreak when in fact it was later ruled out of being linked to an adverse event,’’ the FDA cautioned in a statement.

Daily Harvest blames this product but has not identified the producer.  You would think this might be helpful to protect other consumers. But I guess that might impact Daily Harvest’s relationship with that producer?  Or is it easier to blame someone anonymously so they cannot tell their side of the story?

About Daily Harvest

Launched in 2016, Daily Harvest is a relatively new subscription-based organic food delivery company. Monthly subscribers to Daily Harvest can choose from a variety of pre-made food products or meal kits which are marketed as fresh and organic. The food product selections are then shipped directly to the subscriber on a regular basis.

Daily Harvest has grown very rapidly since it was launched 8 years ago. Several big-name celebrities – notably, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and tennis star Serena Williams – have invested in the company and publicly promoted it. Daily Harvest’s rapid expansion has been fueled by innovation and aggressive social marketing advertising.

Since the beginning, Daily Harvest has focused on promoting its business primarily through social media marketing campaigns targeted at their favored millennial demographic. One of the ways that they did this was to hire social media influencers on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to promote their service. They also sent free samples to second-tier influencers and got free promotional mentions.

Daily Harvest’s aggressive social media advertising efforts were incredibly successful. They became one of the first companies to essentially have their business “go viral” through social media. In November 2021, the company obtained Series D funding at which point the valuation of the Daily Harvest was estimated to be $1 billion.

Daily Harvest Lentil Recall

On June 17, 2022, initiated a recall of all its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles products. The recall announcement was made by Daily Harvest and posted by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the FDA, the recall covered an estimated 28,000 product units that were distributed by Daily Harvest to subscriber customers between April 28 and June 17, 2022. Some of the recalled lentil products were sold at Daily Harvest retail stores in Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Daily Harvest food product that was recalled is the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. This is a 12 oz frozen product in white vacuum sealed packaging. In the middle of the packaging are the words “French Lentil + Leek” with the product line name of “Crumbles” appearing at the bottom.

The French Lentil product was newly introduced in April 2022 and was primarily designed to be used as an ingredient in other dishes or to be added to other products.

Recalled Lentils Cause Severe Gastrointestinal Pain & Liver Damage

Daily Harvest launched the recall after it was flooded with consumer reports (both directly and posted on social media) about people having severe adverse reactions after eating the French Lentil + Leek product.

Consumers were reporting that within a few hours after eating the Daily Harvest French Lentil product, they began experiencing excruciating and abnormal abdominal pain accompanied by fever and joint pain.

Many of the individuals experienced symptoms that were so severe that they ended up in the hospital.

All the users who ended up in the hospital had similar test results that showed extremely elevated liver enzymes and high bilirubin levels (which causes jaundice). The lab results were indications that the liver was not functioning normally. Many of these individuals eventually had to have their gallbladder surgically removed.

Oklahoma Woman Files First Daily Harvest Recall Lawsuit

On June 26, 2022, an Oklahoma woman named Carol Ann Ready filed the first product liability lawsuit against Daily Harvest relating to the French Lentil recall. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Ready v. Daily Harvest Inc. – 1:22-cv-5385).

Sick Just Hours Later

According to the Complaint, Ready obtained the Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles through her online delivery subscription. The product was delivered to her house on May 3, 2022, and she consumed it on May 7, 2022. Within hours, Ready began experiencing “abdominal pain and gastrointestinal distress.” By the next morning, she was still in severe pain and was taken to the emergency room. She was eventually discharged without a definitive diagnosis.

Victim Did Not Connect Sickness to Daily Harvest

On May 28, 2022, Ready consumed the French Lentil product from Daily Harvest a second time. She ate the Lentil product for lunch and by the following morning, she was experiencing the exact same symptoms of severe abdominal pain. This time, however, Ready was also experiencing sharp pain in her arm and shoulder.

Returned to Hosptial

By May 30, two days after eating the Lentil product, Ready was still having symptoms and she went back to the hospital. Testing conducted at the hospital revealed that Ready had extremely elevated liver enzymes and she was admitted for further evaluation. After spending 4 days in the hospital, Ready was eventually discharged with a diagnosis of liver and gallbladder dysfunction.

Victim Needed Surgery for Injuries

The following week, Ready met with her primary care doctor and he advised her that instead of attempting to manage her pain symptoms indefinitely, the recommended course of action was to remove her damaged gallbladder. On June 24, 2022, Ready underwent surgery and had her gallbladder removed.

Daily Harvest Lawsuit Alleges Strict Liability and Negligence

Ready’s Complaint against Daily Harvest claims that the French Lentil product she consumed was “contaminated,” although no specific details regarding the alleged contamination are provided. The Complaint brings causes of action against Daily Harvest for strict liability, negligence, and negligence per se. The factual basis for the allegations that the French Lentils were contaminated appears to be June 17 recall notice and anecdotal accounts from social media.

Contact Us About Bringing a Daily Harvest Recall Lawsuit

If you consumed the French Lentil product from Daily Harvest (or another possibly contaminated product from Daily Harvest) and subsequently suffered a serious adverse reaction, contact our office today for a free consultation. If your adverse reaction was the result of the Daily Harvest product, you may be able to bring a Daily Harvest lawsuit and get financial compensation in a verdict or settlement amount.  Call our Daily Harvest recall lawyers at 800-883-8082 or reach out to us online for a free consultation.  There is no cost unless you receive compensation.

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