Marler Clark files second lawsuit against Paramount Farms in almonds case

SEATTLE — A lawsuit will be filed today on behalf of Steven Stone, a Renton, Washington resident who suffered a Salmonella infection after consuming Paramount Farms raw almonds he purchased at Costco. The lawsuit was filed by Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm nationally recognized for its representation of victims of foodborne illness, in US District Court in Seattle.

Mr. Stone regularly ate raw almonds as part of his lunch at work, and purchased two bags of “Kirkland Signature” brand raw almonds in October, 2003. On November 4, 2003, Mr. Stone began having symptoms of Salmonella infection, including nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and bloody diarrhea. He submitted a stool sample while receiving treatment in the emergency room on November 7. The stool sample cultured positive for Salmonella Enteritidis. On November 11, Mr. Stone was diagnosed with reactive arthritis, or Reiter’s Syndrome, secondary to his Salmonella infection. He continues to receive treatment for this condition.

“I think most of the people who ate contaminated almonds believed they were making the right choice – the healthy choice – by choosing raw almonds,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “Paramount Farms breached the trust of consumers world-wide by selling them a product that was harmful to their health.”

Marler added, “Steve Stone has a claim for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. He continues to seek treatment for reactive arthritis, which could go on for the rest of his life.”

Reactive arthritis related to Reiter’s Syndrome develops when a person eats food that has been tainted with bacteria. Reactive arthritis is characterized by the inflammation of one or more joints, following an infection localized in another portion of the body, commonly the gastrointestinal tract. Reiter’s syndrome typically affects the knees, ankles, and feet, causing pain and swelling. Wrists, fingers and other joints can be affected, though with less frequency. Most of the literature on Reiter’s Syndrome suggests that the majority of patients recover within a year. The condition, can, however, be permanent.


BACKGROUND: Marler Clark is known as the premiere foodborne illness litigation firm in the United States. The firm has achieved success representing victims, mostly children, in the largest salmonella outbreaks across the country over the last ten years. These include the Harmony Farms alfalfa sprout outbreak, the Brook-Lea Country Club outbreak, the Kunick cantaloupe outbreak, an outbreak at a Western Sizzlin’ restaurant in North Carolina, the Shipley Sales cantaloupe outbreak, Black Forest Bakery outbreak, Malt-O-Meal cereal outbreak, Sun Orchard orange juice outbreak, and Linh’s Bakery outbreak. Marler Clark has also obtained record verdicts and settlements on behalf of thousands of people infected with Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, hepatitis A, Listeria, Shigella, and Campylobacter. Total recoveries to date on behalf of victims are in excess of $100 million.

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More about the Paramount Farms almond Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.