The first Salmonella lawsuit has been filed in the pair of Salmonella outbreaks that has sickened 155 people in 21 states. The lawsuit was filed against Yum! Brands (the parent company of Taco Bell) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin County Circuit Court. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Scott county resident by food safety law firm Marler Clark.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released information in early August that they had been tracking two Salmonella outbreaks linked to an unnamed Mexican Fast Food chain, which was later identified as Taco Bell. As of August 1, the outbreak of Salmonella Hartford had sickened 75 people in 15 states since April 1, and the outbreak of Salmonella Baildon had sickened 80 people in 15 states since May 1.
“We’ve been involved with two prior food poisoning outbreaks at Taco Bell,” said attorney and food safety advocate Bill Marler. “In 2000, there was a hepatitis outbreak in green onions at the chain, and in 2006 an E. coli outbreak sickened many patrons. My hope is that these two experiences will lead Yum! Brands to step up quickly to address the needs of their customers who have been infected with Salmonella.”
Jo Ann Smith purchased food from a Taco Bell in Frankfort, Kentucky on May 24. On May 26, she awoke with symptoms including nausea and diarrhea. She rested for a couple of days so that she could accompany her son on an important trip. However even as she traveled, her symptoms continued to worsen and include fever and vomiting, at times containing blood. Her family rushed her to an emergency room, where she was treated for her infection – determined to be the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hartford - as well as for dehydration and anemia. She continues to recover from her illness.