DiMare Fresh, Inc. v. United States, No. 15-5006 (Fed. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Between April 23 and June 1, 2008, there were 57 reported cases of salmonellosis. The FDA, federal and state agencies, and food industry began an investigation to determine the source of contamination. On June 3, 2008, the FDA issued a press release alerting consumers that the salmonella outbreak “appears to be linked” to the consumption of “raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes” and that “the source of the contaminated tomatoes may be limited to a single grower or packer or tomatoes from a specific geographic area.” Later, a spokesman stated the FDA suspected the contaminated tomatoes had been shipped from Florida or Mexico, and red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes were “incriminated with the outbreak.” A third press release announced that “fresh tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the current outbreak.” Although the link between the salmonella outbreak and the their tomatoes was eventually disproved, tomato producers alleged that all or almost all of the value of the perishable tomatoes was destroyed due to a decrease in market demand. The Federal Circuit affirmed dismissal on grounds that the warning of a possible link between the tomatoes and an outbreak did not effect a regulatory taking.