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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Salmonella Lawsuit against ConAgra Salmonella Pot Pie

The Portland Oregonian reported:

Minnesota couple first to sue ConAgra over tainted potpies

Attorneys filed the first lawsuit this morning against ConAgra Foods Inc. over potpies tied to a multistate salmonella outbreak. The suit was filed in federal court in Minnesota by attorneys representing a couple whose 22-month-old daughter suffered a seizure, fever and severe diarrhea in August. State health officials in Minnesota later matched the type of salmonella that infected Isabelle Reinert with others who had fallen ill after eating Banquet-brand potpies.

Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney representing the Reinert family, said a recall is necessary. Marler also sued ConAgra earlier this year following a nationwide recall of the company’s Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter, also tied to a salmonella outbreak. "I don’t quite understand what ConAgra’s doing," Marler said. "They may never recall the stuff officially, but it’s just going to come back to them as consumers hear of problems."

David Unze of the Saint Cloud Times and I spoke this morning:

Sauk Rapids family sues over salmonella poisoning

A Sauk Rapids family has sued ConAgra Foods after their daughter contracted salmonella poisoning from a Banquet-brand pot pie. Amy and Joshua Reinert’s 19-month-old daughter, Isabelle, was seriously ill this summer and required outpatient treatment that included two eight-hour days of receiving antibiotics and fluids through an IV drip. The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed through genetic testing that the salmonella that Isabelle contracted had the same genetic fingerprint associated with the pot pie outbreak, said Bill Marler, a Seattle-based attorney representing the Reinert family.

Marler called ConAgra’s efforts the worst management of a food-related illness he has seen in his years of litigating such cases, and said the company should have recalled the pot pies.  He’s more concerned now with making sure the word gets out to consumers about the dangers and that stores pull the pot pies before more are sold to people who don’t know about the salmonella outbreak.  “That stuff is still on the shelf being sold in grocery stores around the country and people are buying it,” Marler said. “Talk about criminal. That almost borders on criminal behavior.”

  • ConAgra Foods Recalls All Banquet Pot Pies and Store Brand Pot Pies

    From a ConAgra Press Release: OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 11, 2007–ConAgra Foods announced today that it is continuing its efforts to ensure consumer safety by voluntarily recalling all varieties of Banquet brand frozen pot pies and all varieti…

  • V. E. KELLEY

    I had two recent problems with my stomach that caused me excrutiating cramps, vomiting, diarea and fever. The first I thought I had the fleu as I couldn’t think of anything I had eaten that could of caused food poisoning, but it was the worst case of flu I had ever had and I’m 57 years old. I hurt so bad I could hardly breath. I didn’t go to the doctor at that time. The second time it happened was my adopted daughters 13th birthday. We had open house at the school that night and then we were going to dinner to celebrate her big 13. I was fine all day I had eaten a sandwich for lunch and was hungry when I came in from work so I told the kids lets have a snack to hold us over till dinner. We all had something different, mine was a pot pie. By the time I got to the school I was in such pain but was tring to be strong for her. I tried not to let anyone know but even a couple of her teachers asked me if I was alright. I had to use the elevator as I couldn’t make it on the stairs. My daughter was almost in tears and beged me not to pass out on her. By the time I got back to my car I was vomiting in the parking lot but being a single parent had to drive home and was afraid I was taking my kids life in danger. I called then and made and appointment with my doctor thinging I had some terrible problem with my stomach as the pain lasted for several days and I had to miss work. He thought it might be galblader problems and ordered a sonigram on my galblader. He also did bloodwork but this was several days after my second stomach attack. My test all came back good so we were going to do an upper and lower G I test, when I hurd that they had recalled pot pies I knew then what my problem was, both days I had one of my favorite guick snacks pot pies. I do thank God that it was nothing seriouse and that my children did not have any but I cann’t believe if they were aware of this as far back as Janurary they waited till after I a single mother who cann’t afford the time off work or extra medical bills was taken ill by it and my daughters birthday was a desaster. Is there any recourse for me and the suffering to my familly. I still have several pot pies in my freezer and reciet for proff of pruchase.