A Washington state resident filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Townsend Farms of Fairview, Oregon, claiming he fell ill with a hepatitis A infection after eating the company’s frozen berry and pomegranate seed blend. The complaint was filed in Snohomish County Superior Court (Case No. 13-2-05597-8) by Marler Clark, the Seattle-based law firm that has filed 14 previous lawsuits against Townsend Farms.
According to the complaint, Brian Brothers consumed “Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” on multiple occasions between January and April of 2013. He alleges that he became fatigued and experienced darker urine for several days before going to the Emergency Room with jaundice, nausea and a fever—all typical symptoms of hepatitis A infection—on May 22. His attorneys claim that blood tests revealed that his liver was not fully functioning and it was suggested that Mr. Brothers might need a liver transplant. Luckily, his condition improved; however, he alleges that during the acute phase of his illness he suffered from headache and fever, acute stomach ache and nausea, yellow skin and eyes, extreme fatigue, and cloudy judgment and that he continues to experience extreme fatigue.
“All of the people I represent in this outbreak have been fatigued for weeks,” said attorney Bill Marler, who represents dozens of individuals who claim to have become ill with hepatitis A after eating the Townsend Farms product. “Brian Brothers has been suffering the effects of his hepatitis A infection for a month now and likely won’t get back to his normal self for several more weeks.”
Marler noted that victims of hepatitis A infection can take up to 6 months to fully recover from their illnesses.
According to a June 18 update to the CDC website, “Multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A infections potentially associated with ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ frozen berry and pomegranate mix,” at least 118 people in 8 states have fallen ill with hepatitis A infections as part of the outbreak traced to the Townsend Farms product.
“I expect the numbers to continue to go up since people continued to eat this product until well into June,” added Marler. “Some people probably won’t start feeling ill until closer to the Fourth of July.”
BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, including hundreds of victims of hepatitis A outbreaks and thousands who were exposed to hepatitis A and were forced to receive inoculations against the virus. In the last 20 years, Marler Clark has recovered over $600 million on behalf of victims of foodborne illnesses such as hepatitis A, E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.