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First Salmonella Lawsuit filed by Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm

Cucumber Outbreak Sickens 449, hospitalizes 125 in 31 States

(Palm Beach, FL) The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Melissa Milligan against Fresh Start Produce, Inc. and Bedner Growers, Inc., in the Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers. The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Palm Beach, Florida in the civil division, by local counsel, the Chaikin law firm, Complaint #202246846 (see attached copy below).

Ms. Milligan purchased cucumbers at Publix Super Markets in St. Augustine, Florida. She consumed the cucumbers over a two-week period and on June 10, 2024, began experiencing symptoms consistent with a Salmonella infection, including nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headache and a urinary tract infection. Several days later, Ms. Milligan sought medical care for an evaluation of her symptoms. However, despite anti-diarrheal medication, her symptoms worsened. A second visit to the doctor resulted in testing and a stool and urine sample which confirmed a diagnosis of Salmonella infection verging on severe. Ms. Mulligan is recovering from her Salmonella infection.

“At nearly 450 sickened, this is one of the largest Salmonella outbreaks we have seen recently, and health authorities are still counting,” stated Bill Marler, Marler Clark food safety attorney.

The Cucumber Outbreak

  • As of July 2, 2024, a total of 449 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella Africana and Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from 31 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 11, 2024 to June 4, 2024. In this outbreak, 125 have been hospitalized with no deaths reported.
  • Originally reported as two separate outbreaks, CDC and FDA combined these two outbreak investigations as they shared several similarities.
  • Laboratory, epidemiological, and traceback data have determined that cucumbers grown by Defendant, Bedner Growers, Inc., are the source of illnesses in this outbreak.

“Although it is somewhat unusual to have two or more Salmonella serotypes in an outbreak, it has happened before,” said Bill Marler, Marler Clark food safety attorney. “Having multiple serotypes likely means that the production area was highly contaminated,” added Marler.

Public Health Investigation

As part of the investigation, the FDA conducted an onsite inspection at Bedner Growers and collected water and soil samples. Salmonella Braenderup was detected in samples of untreated canal water used by Bedner Growers. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis determined that the Salmonella found in the water used by Bedner Growers is a match to a strain of Salmonella Braenderup that is causing some of the illnesses in this outbreak. Additional types of Salmonella were detected in both the soil and water samples collected at Bedner Growers.

The Food Safety Law Firm

Since 1993 Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has been the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on Foodborne illness litigation. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness in outbreaks. Marler Clark’s work as lawyers and food safety advocates is highlighted in the Netflix Documentary “Poisoned” now streaming. See: “Poisoned”: The Dirty Truth About Your Food | Official Trailer | Netflix


Marler Clark, Inc., PS

Bill Marler


Milligan Complaint Filed (pdf)
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