A lawsuit was filed today against Sunland, Inc. and Trader Joe’s, the manufacturer and retailer who sold Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter products that state and federal public health officials identified as the source of a multi-state Salmonella Bredeney outbreak in September. The lawsuit was filed in Worcester County Superior Court by Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, on behalf of Worcester County, Massachusetts resident Brandi Henson and her 4-year-old son.
The complaint alleges that Ms. Henson purchased Valencia peanut butter on multiple occasions between May and July. Her child, who regularly ate peanut butter on sandwiches and other items, became ill with nausea, cramps, and diarrhea—all symptoms of Salmonella infection—on July 31, 2012. According to the complaint, he required 2 visits to the pediatrician. A stool sample submitted during one of the visits later tested positive for Salmonella Bredeney, the strain of Salmonella public health officials have shown is associated with the consumption of peanut butter made by Sunland, including Trader Joe’s Valencia peanut butter.
“My client was feeding her family what she believed was a safe product,” said Bill Marler, attorney for the Henson family. “It’s a shame that a staple of nearly every American kid’s diet is once again causing illness."