Marler Clark Serves 29 Lawsuits Against Senor Felix


SEATTLE - Attorneys with the Seattle law firm of Marler Clark, nationally-renowned for their successful representation of victims injured during food-borne illness outbreaks, served 29 separate lawsuits today against Senor Felix, a California corporation implicated in the January 2000 recall of bean dip contaminated with the Shigella bacteria. The contamination of the dip was believed to have occurred through fecal-oral transmission. All those who tested positive for the shigella bacteria confirmed they had eaten a product labeled Senor Felix 5 Layer Fiesta Dip. This dip was sold under several names, including Senor Felix, Trader Joe’s 5 Layer Fiesta Dip, and Delicioso 5 Layer Fiesta Dip. The list of retailers that carried this product included Costco, Trader Joe’s, Puget Consumers Co-op (PCC), and SAM’S Club. It was also distributed to QFC, Thriftway, Red Apple Markets, Zupan’s, and Homegrocer.com.

According to Bruce Clark of Marler Clark, “We attempted to negotiate an out-of-court settlement on all of these claims directly with Hartford Insurance Company, the insurer of Senor Felix. However, when Hartford refused to compensate our clients fairly, we had no alternative but to take this matter to a jury. Trial is expected within one year.” Mr. Clark continued, “Most of the adults and children suffered painful and frightening illnesses that were thankfully short-lived. However, this was a far more serious outbreak than was first reported. Senor Felix must be held accountable and treat these people fairly.”

Data released from the Washington State Department of Health confirmed over 160 people were sickened in Washington alone. Several hundred more were infected in California, Oregon, Idaho, and New Mexico. According to Marcia Goldloft, Medical Epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, “Shigellosis can be very serious and is highly contagious.”

Background: Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of food-borne illness. Mr. Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box. He also secured compensation totaling $30 million for other victims from the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. In May 1998, Marler Clark settled the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children were severely injured after consuming contaminated Odwalla apple juice. Marler Clark is currently lead counsel in actions stemming from several E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Hepatitis outbreaks in Washington, California, Ohio, Missouri, and Arizona. Marler Clark has litigated on behalf of children against Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonalds, Hardees, Subway, Carl’s Jr., and Sizzler. Marler Clark is presently representing children in E. coli outbreaks stemming from contaminated beef served in a school lunch and a swimming pool in Atlanta.

Additional information can be found on the Marler Clark-sponsored Web site about Shigella.

More about the Senor Felix Shieglla outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.