A lawsuit will be filed this week against Trader Joe’s and Sunland, Inc., the companies whose peanut butter and other nut products have been identified as the source of a 30-person Salmonella Bredeney outbreak among residents of 19 states. The lawsuit was filed in Nash County Superior Court on behalf of the father of an 8-year-old Nash County, North Carolina child who became ill with a Salmonella Bredeney infection in late August. The plaintiffs are represented by the Seattle-based Marler Clark law firm and Asheville-based attorney Mark Kurdys.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges his son consumed Trader Joe’s Valencia brand peanut butter on sandwiches and other items on several occasions before becoming ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection, including intense abdominal cramps, on August 25, 2012. The child developed bloody diarrhea soon thereafter and was seen by his pediatrician several times before being admitted to Wilson Medical Center for a 3-day hospitalization. According to the complaint, the child continues in his recovery from his Salmonella Bredeney infection, which was confirmed by the North Carolina Department of Health to be one of at least 30 Salmonella Bredeney cases linked to the consumption of Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut butter and potentially other products containing nuts and seeds recalled by Sunland, Inc.
“It’s hard to believe we’re staring another peanut butter outbreak in the face,” said Bill Marler, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Customers should be able to trust the products they buy—no matter what the source. It’s a shame Trader Joe’s and Sunland didn’t learn the lessons of those who came before them.”
Marler’s firm, Marler Clark, has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness, including victims of past peanut and peanut butter-related Salmonella outbreaks traced to ConAgra’s Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter and products made with Peanut Corporation of America’s peanuts. This is the first lawsuit the firm has brought against Trader Joe’s and Sunland in connection with the Salmonella Bredeney outbreak.