Parents Sue Cereal Maker Over Children's Illness

The families of two young Washington state children who reportedly became sick after eating contaminated cereal have filed a lawsuit against the cereal maker.

The lawsuit against Malt-O-Meal Inc. of Minneapolis was filed yesterday in King County Superior Court by the parents of 2-year-old Amelie Hinson and 17-month-old Kevin Keogh.

The lawsuit says the children became seriously ill with fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea in late May and early June after eating toasted oats breakfast cereal made by Malt-O-Meal.

Amelie’s parents, John and Melissa Hinson bought the cereal at a store in Moses Lake while staying with Melissa Hinson’s parents.

Kevin’s parents, Tom Keogh and Marianne Wiebe-Keogh, bought the cereal at a store in Edmonds.

Malt-O-Meal on June 5 recalled as much as 3 million pounds of its plain toasted oat cereal after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that it was the likely source of an unusual type of salmonella food poisoning.

Lawyers for the Hinsons and Keoghs say at least 17 people in Washington – most of them children – became ill after eating the cereal.

The two families are seeking unspecified damages.

Malt-O-Meal officials could not be reached for comment after business hours yesterday.