Lawsuit filed against Safeway on behalf of man who suffered Salmonella infection


PORTLAND — A Salmonella lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of Forest Grove resident Darrel Holscher, who suffered extensive injuries when he contracted Salmonellosis after eating Salmonella-contaminated egg salad from a Safeway deli in September, 2003. The lawsuit was filed against Safeway in United States District Court in Portland by the Seattle law firm Marler Clark, the firm nationally known for representing victims of foodborne illness.

Mr. Holscher sought emergency medical attention three times while he was ill, and was treated by doctors for dehydration on all three occasions. On his third trip to the emergency room, Mr. Holscher was admitted to the hospital, where he underwent treatment on his right knee for symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome that included fluid build-up and lack of range of motion. He continued to receive treatment for Reiter’s Syndrome throughout October and November, 2003.

“We filed this lawsuit because Settlement negotiations with Safeway were not where we thought they would be nearly a year after this outbreak, and Darrel Holscher deserves to be compensated for his medical bills, lost wages, and for pain and suffering he endured because of Safeway’s negligence,” said attorney William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “He developed Reiter’s Syndrome, or reactive arthritis, had surgery on his knee, and continues to suffer from the effects of his infection nearly a year after the acute phase of his illness.”

Oregon health officials linked the egg salad, which was sold at Safeway deli counters as egg salad and filling in egg salad sandwiches, to 18 lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella Typhimurium. Two people, including Mr. Holscher, were hospitalized.

Marler continued, “I still have hopes that we can come to an amicable resolution of this case out of court.”

Salmonella induces septic arthritis, which is characterized by joint pain and inflammation. Septic arthritis can also cause inflammation of the eyes and painful urination. When all three symptoms are experienced, a person is considered to have developed Reiter’s Syndrome, which can resolve completely over time, or permanent joint damage can occur.

BACKGROUND: The attorneys at Marler Clark have extensive experience representing victims of Salmonella infections. The firm has successfully represented victims of Salmonella poisoning related to contaminated sprouts, cantaloupe, cereal, orange juice, and other foods. The firm represented victims against Sun Orchard after the company’s orange juice was tied to a salmonella outbreak. Marler Clark also settled the claims of victims who ate Salmonella-tainted pastries at the black Forrest Bakery in Clinton Township, Michigan, and seventy victims of Salmonella poisoning at a country club in Rochester, New York, in 2002. In August, 2004, the firm settled the claims of 53 victims of Salmonella poisoning traced to a Chili’s restaurant outside of Chicago. The firm has successfully represented over 1,000 victims of Salmonella poisoning in several other states.