Clifford Tousignant, father, grandfather and decorated veteran of the Korean War, died in January, 2009, after eating Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter served in the nursing home where he lived in Brainard, MN. His family is filing suit against Kanan Enterprises, the makers of King Nut peanut butter. The complaint was filed Monday in US District Court, District of Minnesota.

“The tragedy of a lost family member is the worst and clearest example of why we need to reform our food safety system,” said Bill Marler, the family’s attorney. “This family lost precious years with their patriarch, because tainted food was shipped to our most vulnerable populations: the elderly, the sick, and children.”

King Nut peanut butter was distributed in 5-pound containers to nursing homes, schools, and hospitals. King Nut used peanut products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America, whose Salmonella-contaminated products sickened almost seven hundred people and caused the deaths of nine, including Mr. Tousignant. Containers of King Nut tested positive for the strain of Salmonella associated with the nationwide outbreak.

Clifford Tousignant (video link) fell ill in late December 2008, after eating King Nut peanut butter served at the Woodland Good Samaritan Village nursing home. He had profuse diarrhea, which caused him to be hospitalized on New Year’s Eve. He remained in the hospital until January 4, 2009, and while there, tested positive for Salmonella. He returned to the nursing home, but continued to suffer diarrhea and had difficulty eating. He was rushed back to the hospital on January 11, but passed away on January 12 from sepsis following his Salmonella infection.

Marler Clark represents more than eighty victims of the Peanut Corporation of America Salmonella outbreak. The firm also represented the majority of victims of the ConAgra (Peter Pan/Great Value) peanut butter outbreak of 2006-2007.