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California Prisoner Fed Finger Settles with Florida Food Manufacturer

On January 31, 2006, a Florida food company reached a confidential settlement agreement with a California state prisoner who found a three-quarter inch long human finger tip in one of the company?s prepackaged meals.

While confined in isolation at California?s Pelican Bay Prison on March 20, 2005, prisoner Felipe Rocha was provided a SunMeadows prepackaged meal tray that was manufactured by GA Food Services. As he ate the included cornbread, Rocha noticed a crunchy object. He spit it out, and, to his horror, realized he?d been eating the end of a human finger.

The company acknowledged responsibility and expressed their ?deepest apologies? in a March 29, 2005, letter to Rocha. The letter confirmed that an employee had cut off the tip of his finger on the date the meal was manufactured and detailed how it had come to be included in the meal despite their best efforts to thoroughly sanitize the production equipment.

On July 20, 2005, Rocha filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of California seeking compensatory and other damages for his resultant physical and emotional injuries. GA Food Services, not surprisingly, settled with Rocha for an undisclosed sum.

Rocha was represented by Mark E. Merin of the Law Office of Mark Merin in Sacramento. See: Rocha v. GA Food Services, Inc., USDC ND CA, Case No. 3:05-cv-02960-WHA.

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Related legal case

Rocha v. GA Food Services, Inc.