SEATTLE, WA—A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday against Townsend Farms, the company whose “Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend” frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix has been identified as the source of a hepatitis A outbreak among residents of several Western states. The lawsuit was filed by Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, on behalf of named plaintiffs Jay Seward and all other Washington state residents who received hepatitis A vaccination or immune globulin injections to prevent hepatitis A infection after eating the Townsend Farms frozen berry blend or who required testing for hepatitis A after consuming the Townsend Farms product.
According to the complaint, Jay Seward purchased Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix at a Costco store in California. He and his wife underwent serology testing to determine whether their exposure to the Townsend Farms berry mix had resulted in hepatitis A infection and both received vaccination against hepatitis A infection on June 6, 2013. The hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin injections administered prophylactically can prevent or reduce the symptoms of hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of exposure.
“Costco did an excellent job of notifying customers of their potential exposure to hepatitis A and encouraging them to receive proper treatment to prevent infection,” said attorney William Marler, who is representing Mr. Seward.
Marler noted that the class action lawsuit asks that all class members be compensated for the cost of receiving a hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin injection and hepatitis A testing in addition to time missed from work or other expenses incurred due to exposure to the virus.
“We’re also asking Townsend Farms to reimburse public health agencies for the costs associated with providing shot clinics and outbreak-related investigations. Taxpayers should not be held responsible for this company’s sub-par food safety practices,” Marler concluded.
BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented hundreds of people who contracted hepatitis A after eating contaminated food. The law firm has represented thousands who received hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin injections to prevent infection.