LOS ANGELES, CA—Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, filed a lawsuit today against Townsend Farms, the Oregon company whose frozen berry and pomegranate seed blend has been identified as the source of a hepatitis A outbreak among residents of 8 states. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Los Angeles County resident Catherine Gunn, who alleges she became ill with a hepatitis A infection after eating “Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” purchased from Costco. Also representing Ms. Gunn are San Diego-based law firms Gordon & Holmes and Keeney, Waite & Stevens.
According to the lawsuit, Catherine Gunn purchased and consumed Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend berry and pomegranate seed mix in May of 2013. She alleges she fell ill with symptoms of hepatitis A infection on May 31 and later tested positive for hepatitis A. Ms. Gunn’s attorneys state that she has sought medical care for treatment of hepatitis A on multiple occasions and continues to receive medical care.
“All of the people I represent in this outbreak have been fatigued for weeks,” said attorney Bill Marler, who represents over XX individuals who became ill with hepatitis A after eating the Townsend Farms product. Marler noted that victims of hepatitis A infection can take up to 6 months to fully recover from their illnesses.
According to a June 17 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 106 people in 8 states have fallen ill with hepatitis A infections as part of the outbreak traced to the Townsend Farms product. The incubation period, or time between ingesting the virus and becoming ill with symptoms of hepatitis A infection, is typically about 30 days.
“This outbreak will continue to grow,” 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.