Industry News | February 21, 2007

Class Action Filed Over Bad Peanut Butter

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A class action lawsuit was filed against ConAgra Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of named plaintiffs James Daniels and Linda Oswald, and all other individuals who became ill with Salmonella infections after consuming Salmonella-contaminated Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter.

The plaintiffs are represented by Marler Clark, the Seattle-based law firm that has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella, E. coli, and other foodborne illness outbreaks.

“We have been contacted by over 2,200 families who consumed peanut butter and are looking to pursue legal claims against ConAgra since the FDA announced the recall of ConAgra-manufactured peanut butter on February 14,” says William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “We feel that a class action is the most efficient means for achieving fair compensation for people who were not hospitalized, but have strong evidence of a Salmonella infection.”

Marler pointed out that the class action excludes any individuals who were hospitalized or died as a result of their illnesses. Marler Clark has been contacted by hundreds of people who were hospitalized as a result of their Salmonella infections, and is investigating three deaths that may be tied to this outbreak. “Those people suffered more severe injuries than the majority of people we have been contacted by, and we will pursue individual claims on their behalf,” adds Marler.

The proposed class includes all persons who:

(1) Purchased Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter since May 2006 with a product-code beginning with 2111 imprinted on the lid; and

(2) As a result suffered either:

(a) A lab-confirmed Salmonella infection, or

(b) Symptoms consistent with a Salmonella infection – i.e., fever, abdominal cramps, headache, and diarrhea – that otherwise fit the CDC case-definition for the subject outbreak.

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