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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Castellini named in hepatitis suit; Tainted onions may have passed through Ky. firm

As James McNair of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in his article Castellini named in hepatitis suit, my firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Richard and Linda in Pittsburg against Castellini Co., because the green onions connected with the recent Chi Chi’s hepatitis A outbreak may have passed through the company’s warehouse.

The Millers ate at Chi Chi’s on October 12 and two weeks later were both diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, Richard Miller underwent a liver transplant on November 8. Their medical bills exceeded $500,000.

As the Cincinnati Enquirer reported:

“Castellini Co. received the green onions packaged in master cartons, ready for shipment to its customer in the Pittsburgh area,” it said in a statement. “That customer may have supplied the green onions to the restaurant in question. The cartons in question remained intact in the Castellini Co. warehouse until shipment to the Castellini Co. customer. Neither Castellini Co. nor any of its affiliates unpacked or processed the green onions in the cartons.”

Living up to his reputation as a crack litigator, Marler is now going after upstream parties in the Chi-Chi’s case. Teaming with a law firm in Pittsburgh, Marler sued four companies that allegedly grew, brokered and shipped the infected green onions to the Chi-Chi’s in the Beaver Valley Mall. In addition to Castellini, the suit names three California produce growers and shippers.

“We have filed suit against those growers and suppliers who had the opportunity to prevent this outbreak before it reached the Chi-Chi’s restaurant and the Millers’ lunch,” Marler said. “Taking this step gives us the best chance of preventing such a disaster in the future.”