Seattle-based Marler Clark and Rochester-based Underberg & Kessler filed will file a lawsuit Tuesday against State Garden, Inc., the leafy greens supplier whose salad mix was identified as the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in October. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Rochester resident Molly Larkin in Federal District Court in Buffalo.
In the lawsuit, attorneys allege that Ms. Larkin, a registered nurse, is one of 28 people, including 22 New York state residents, who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating Wegmans Organic Spinach & Spring Mix supplied by State Garden. According to the complaint, Ms. Larkin ate salad made from the contaminated product the weekend of October 20 and fell ill with symptoms of E. coli infection, including bloody diarrhea and painful abdominal cramping, later the following week. She sought medical care for her condition and submitted a stool sample that tested positive for the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that was isolated from the defendant’s salad mix. Ms. Larkin continues to suffer the effects of her E. coli infection.
“We’re asking the court to give a jury the opportunity to award our client damages related to her E. coli infection,” said attorney William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “Molly Larkin expected the salad she bought to be a safe product, free from pathogens. I think a jury of 12 people would agree that a ready-to-eat salad mix should be safe for human consumption.”
Attorney Paul Nunes, a partner in Underberg & Kessler, added, “It seems that the issue of food safety only gains attention when there is an outbreak. The status quo is unacceptable. We should be able to trust in our food supply.”