Jim Neale Talks Ice Cream, Offers Insights to Newly Filed Blue Bell Class Action

August 18, 2015

The Houston Chronicle quotes McGuireWoods partner Jim Neale, who represents clients in food-related litigation, in an Aug. 17 story about a new class action lawsuit against Blue Bell Creameries. In the article, “Blue Bell to return Aug. 31, faces new lawsuit,” Neale discusses the history of similar class actions, as well as the nature of the new allegations.

The lawsuit claims that Texas-based Blue Bell’s recall of more than 8 million gallons of ice cream since April did not adequately inform consumers of refund opportunities. It coincides with Blue Bell’s announcement that it is returning its products to stores in Texas and Alabama after a listeria outbreak resulted in three deaths and 10 people being hospitalized according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“As serious as listeria is, it’s not in every half gallon of chocolate chip ice cream, so a lot of people are going to have eaten that product and gotten exactly what they paid for out of it,” the Chronicle quotes Neale as saying. “Some people will be halfway through a container, some will not have opened it. It sounds silly, but those are the kinds of issues that typically bring down a refund class action.”

Neale has substantial mass tort and class action litigation experience and is co-chair of McGuireWoods’ foodborne illness litigation practice group.