A lawsuit will be filed Thursday against Sunland, Inc. and Trader Joe’s, the manufacturer and retailer who sold Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter products that state and federal public health officials identified as the source of a multi-state Salmonella Bredeney outbreak in September. The lawsuit was filed in Worcester County Superior Court on behalf of the Henson family and their 4-year-old son of Worcester County, Massachusetts.
The complaint alleges that Ms. Henson purchased Valencia peanut butter on multiple occasions between May and July. Her child, who regularly ate peanut butter on sandwiches and other items, became ill with nausea, cramps, and diarrhea—all symptoms of Salmonella infection—on July 31, 2012. According to the complaint, he required 2 visits to the pediatrician. A stool sample submitted during one of the visits later tested positive for Salmonella Bredeney, the strain of Salmonella public health officials have shown is associated with the consumption of peanut butter made by Sunland, including Trader Joe’s Valencia peanut butter.
A lawsuit will be filed in California this week against Forever Cheese, Inc., The Aniata Cheese Co., and Cookbook Los Angeles—the cheese importer, distributor and retailer whose Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese was identified as the source of a multi-state Listeria outbreak in September. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Joanna Valentine and Laurie Sorenson and their infant son, who was born prematurely when Ms. Valentine became ill with a Listeria infection after eating the imported ricotta salata cheese.
Ms. Valentine, who was 25 weeks pregnant, consumed Listeria-contaminated ricotta salata cheese several times in the first week of September. She began experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection, including fatigue and back pain, on September 12. Over the next several days, her symptoms worsened and she was treated at an urgent care clinic. On September 18, Ms. Sorenson took Ms. Valentine to the emergency room, where she was rushed to labor and delivery for treatment. Their son was born the next day, at 27 weeks gestation. Both he and Ms. Valentine’s placenta tested positive for the same strain of Listeria that was isolated from samples of ricotta salata cheese imported by Forever Cheese. The baby remains hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he has been treated for a myriad of issues, including high blood pressure, kidney failure, and spinal meningitis and bleeding around his brain.