Marler Clark Files First Lawsuit against FreshKampo in the Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak


SAN DIEGO, CA – The first lawsuit was filed today in the Superior Court of California in San Diego County, against FreshKampo, a foreign corporation: Meridian Fine Foods, LLC, on behalf of David Arthur and Michelle Brown and their daughter. The plaintiffs became ill with hepatitis A after consuming FreshKampo branded strawberries. The Arthur-Brown family is represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle based food safety law firm, and local counsel, Frederic L. Gordon.

Complaint #37-2022-00021445-CU-PL-CTL (see PDF of complaint below).

The Arthur-Brown family purchased and later consumed FreshKampo strawberries on April 16, 2022, and April 25, 2022. Michelle Brown began to experience symptoms of a hepatitis A infection on or about May 5, 2022, and her daughter followed soon after on May 8, 2022. They both suffered from diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and digestion issues.

David Arthur began to experience symptoms related to his infection on or about May 8, 2022. His initial symptoms included clammy skin, stomach upset, and body aches and progressed to lethargy, pain, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, and jaundice. While Michelle and their daughter recovered, on May 19, 2022, David’s symptoms worsened, and his medical condition progressed to acute liver failure. David was hospitalized, and fortunately, with significant medical testing and intervention, he was discharged from the hospital on May 20, 2022.

“Strawberries grown outside the United States have been a source of hepatitis A infections in the past,” said William Marler, managing partner at the food safety law firm Marler Clark. “The FDA and retailers need to do a far better job of inspecting so we can avoid human fecal contamination,” added Marler.

On May 27, 2022, the FDA, CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced that they are investigating 27 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A in Canada and the United States. The agencies will consider these hepatitis A illnesses linked to organic strawberries, branded as FreshKampo and HEB, and purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

Victims of hepatitis A outbreak in the United States and Canada

Total United States Illnesses: 17 – Canada 10
United States Hospitalizations: 12 – Canada 4
Illness onset dates range from March 28 – April 30, 2022.
States with Cases: California (15), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1) – Provinces with Cases: Alberta (4) and Saskatchewan (6)

Hepatitis A is a food borne virus that can be passed by infected food handlers to consumers. The virus attacks the liver, and symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dark urine, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, loss of appetite, and jaundice. In extreme cases, liver failure can result. The virus has a long incubation period, and symptoms may not appear for fifteen to fifty days. More information on Hepatitis A can be found at www.about-hepatitis.com.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $700 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

To speak with Bill Marler or to receive a copy of the complaint, contact Julie Dueck at jdueck@marlerclark.com or 1-206-346-1893.

Download PDF