CBS58: “There’s no question that these people had salmonella, no question where they got it,” said Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler.
Marler said lab tests show that carnitas from Supermercado Los Corrales were the source of a Mother’s Day salmonella outbreak last year.
“Illnesses ranged from people being sick for 5-7 days to people being hospitalized,” he said.
He represents 45 of the 75 people infected and with all the evidence doesn’t understand why Los Corales’ insurance company won’t pay up.
“Medical expenses ranged from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. We tried to sit down with insurance company and weren’t even able to get them to pay the medical bills for these people so we really had no other choice but to file a lawsuit,” Marler said.
A lawsuit against Los Corales but also their insurance company.
Their insurance policy only covers one million dollars in damages and Marler says that’s all they’re fighting for.
“What we’ve been trying to do is get all the people together to come up w a strategy to divide up the million dollars based on severity of illness and to not impact the grocery store,” he said.
Marler says his clients believe the supermarket didn’t mean to harm anyone and they would hate to see a local store go out of business.
“It’s a well respected business in town, many of my clients have shopped there for years and want to see the business in operation,” he said.
Marler expects a trial to happen before the end of this year.
Kenosha News: A Kenosha grocery store is facing a sixth lawsuit for the salmonella outbreak that sickened as many as 70 people last year.
Seattle-based attorney Marler Clark, a specialist on litigation involving foodborne illness, filed the lawsuit against Supermercado Los Corrales, 3933 52nd St., Tuesday on behalf of 13 plaintiffs. His firm is now representing 35 people in cases against the store related to the outbreak.
The latest suit involves six families who were sickened after eating pork carnitas purchased from the store between May 8 and 11, 2015.
There are 16 plaintiffs in the four other suits filed against Los Corrales, all related to the salmonella outbreak.
Among the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit are an 8-year-old girl from Kenosha; a 10-year-old boy from Waukegan, Ill.; a family of five from Kenosha, including 17-, 14- and 10-year-old children; a family from Sturtevant, including an 11-year-old boy; a pregnant woman from Mount Pleasant; and a 25-year-old woman from Waukegan.
Many of the people affected became ill after eating carnitas purchased at the store at family gatherings for Mother’s Day.
The 25-year-old woman, Guadalupe Silva, a day-care worker, missed nearly 20 days of work, none of it covered by sick days, because she was considered by health officials to be a contamination risk at the day-care facility. Once she was able to return to work, her hours were cut.
“I would not wish this situation on anyone, and I know these things don’t just happen. They happen because people are not careful and clean with their food,” Silva said in a statement included in legal documents. “I have no grudge or anger toward the owners of the establishment. I would just like to be compensated for so many days I had to miss from work.”
The outbreak was linked by laboratory testing to carnitas sold in the prepared food area of the grocery. As many as 70 people became ill in the outbreak, with salmonella confirmed in laboratory tests of 35 individuals. A number of people involved needed to be hospitalized.
Salmonella is a bacterial infection of the small intestine, typically spread through food or water contaminated with feces. Although many people with salmonella infection have no symptoms, others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps for about 72 hours. People with the infection can become severely dehydrated and need hospitalization.
After health department investigators linked the outbreak through testing to Supermercado Los Corrales the food preparation area of the store was closed for about a month.
Mark Melotik, environmental health manager for the Kenosha County Health Department, said the store has been inspected twice since reopening and no further problems have been found.