State laws vary governing who has liability for bad products. Some states, such as California, allow more companies in a food chain to be targets for claims, with few limits on awards.
Colorado law makes it harder to sue stores in addition to the producer where the defect started, attorneys said. Plaintiffs must show a retailer contributed to the flaw in the food.
In the listeria cases, attorneys may try to show retailers contributed by not demanding tougher farm audits, by failing to test for pathogens themselves, or by failing to wash the fruit one more time before sale.