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North Carolina’s Fourth Salmonella Outbreak in 2012 Leads to Another Salmonella Lawsuit

The food poisoning attorneys at Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, along with Ashville law firm Roberts & Stevens, have filed a Salmonella lawsuit in Iredell County. The lawsuit, the third Salmonella-related suit filed by the two firms in 2012 [1,2], was filed on behalf of a North Carolina couple who allegedly became ill with Salmonella infections after consuming food at Mooresville-based Lancaster’s BBQ.

According to a complaint (#12CVS01420) filed in Iredell County Superior Court, a married couple ate at Lancaster’s BBQ on December 31, 2011. In the following days and weeks, the couple developed severe symptoms indicative of a Salmonella infection. By January 5, the wife's symptoms became so severe that she had to be treated at the ER, where she submitted a stool sample that tested positive for Salmonella. Attorneys for the plaintiffs allege that the Iredell County Health Department, along with the North Carolina State Public Health Laboratory, concluded that between Christmas 2011 and New Year’s Day 2012, a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak occurred among Lancaster BBQ customers.

This lawsuit marks the first of four Salmonella-outbreak situations North Carolina residents have seen this year. Between February and May, a Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak centered in Buncombe County sickened at least 88 people and was linked to contaminated tempeh produced by Ashville-based Smiling Hara Tempeh. In May, the Mecklenburg County Health Department announced that a 15-person Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak was linked to Toast Café in Dilworth. Still, 10 other Salmonella illnesses in North Carolina have been linked to a nationwide outbreak the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has tied to a sushi product called Nakaochi Scrape, otherwise known as Tuna Scrape.

“I’ve been litigating foodborne illness cases for nearly 20 years and it is safe say that, in terms of outbreaks, sometimes when it rains it pours,” said Marler Clark Salmonella attorney Bill Marler. “That said, four Salmonella outbreaks in less than six months is taxing for entire communities—the public health officials who investigate outbreaks, healthcare providers who treat people ill with Salmonella, and especially for the victims and their families.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that for every confirmed Salmonella infection, 29.3 go unreported, meaning that thousands have potentially been infected in North Carolina this year.

In May, Marler Clark and Roberts & Stevens filed two separate Salmonella lawsuits associated with the Toast Café of Dilworth outbreak, including a case on behalf of a Charlotte man who developed Reactive Arthritis from his Salmonella infection.

Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illnesses, including Salmonella. The firm’s Salmonella lawyers have been litigating foodborne illness cases since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, and have obtained over $600,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for victims of Salmonella, E. coli, and other outbreaks. For more information, or if you are a member of the media and would like a copy of the complaint, please contact Cody Moore at (206) 407-2200 or

[1] Mecklenburg County Superior Court #12-CVD-8507

[2] Mecklenburg County Superior Court #12-WS-1004

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