Marler Clark files second Salmonella lawsuit against Orchid Island Juice Co.


SEATTLE – Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm with a successful track record of representing victims of Salmonella poisoning, and respected Asheville, NC attorney Mark Kurdys, filed a second lawsuit against Orchid Island Juice Co. of Fort Pierce, Florida, Friday. The firm represents Barbara Jane Dooley, a 72-year-old Jackson County, North Carolina resident who became ill with Salmonellosis after consuming Orchid Island unpasteurized orange juice in June while dining at a restaurant with her husband. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (Case no. 2:05CV215).

In the complaint, it is alleged that Mrs. Dooley drank Orchid Island Juice on June 4, 2005 and became ill with symptoms of a Salmonella infection two days later. Because of the severity of her illness, Mrs. Dooley was admitted to the hospital on June 6, and remained there for seven days. Lab work conducted while Ms. Dooley was hospitalized confirmed that she was suffering from a Salmonella infection, and that she was infected with a strain of Salmonella genetically indistinguishable from that isolated from Orchid Island unpasteurized orange juice.

“Mrs. Dooley, like so many Americans, routinely had a glass of orange juice with breakfast. She never imagined that something as simple as this would endanger her life, or end up putting her in the hospital for a week,” said Denis Stearns, a partner with Marler Clark.

Since 1995, at least four Salmonella outbreaks have been traced to unpasteurized orange juice. Marler Clark attorneys represented over 100 people in a lawsuit against Sun Orchard after orange juice made by the company was determined to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak that made over 400 people sick and killed one. Stearns continued, “It is time for the FDA to stand up to the few remaining producers of unpasteurized orange juice and either require pasteurization, or at least require restaurants to tell their customers that they are being served a possibly unsafe product. No one should be allowed to unknowingly drink unpasteurized orange juice.”

The FDA issued a nationwide warning to consumers against drinking unpasteurized orange juice products distributed under a variety of brand names by Orchid Island Juice Company on July 8, 2005. At that time, Michigan, Ohio, and Massachusetts were reporting cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infection connected to consumption of the juice. At least sixteen other states reported cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infection that matched the specific strain. A recall was issued on July 15, 2005 (see http://www.fda.gov).

Marler Clark has represented thousands of people who consumed Salmonella-contaminated foods such as orange juice, cantaloupe, sprouts, almonds, and cereal. The firm sponsors an informational Web site about Salmonella and a site about Salmonella litigation.

More about the Orchid Island orange juice Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.