Salmonella Victim Files Lawsuit Against DeFusco's Bakery

PROVIDENCE, RI (April 4, 2011) – A Bristol County, Massachusetts mother filed a lawsuit today against DeFusco’s Bakery, Inc., the Rhode Island bakery whose zeppoles were determined to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak in March. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Providence by Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks, and Cooley Manion Jones, a Boston-based law firm.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff purchased zeppoles at DeFusco’s on March 18, 2011. Her son ate two zeppoles, one on March 18 and one on March 19, 2011. The child fell ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection, including abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever on March 19. His symptoms worsened over the next several days, and he required medical care on March 25. At that time he submitted a stool specimen for testing, and it returned positive for Salmonella.

“As a lot of Rhode Islanders and Massachusetts residents found out during this outbreak, Salmonella infections are more than just a tummy ache,” said attorney Bill Marler, who represents the family. “Our client has still not fully recovered from his illness.”

During its investigation into the Salmonella outbreak, Rhode Island Department of Health investigators found that cardboard boxes used for storage of empty pastry shells at DeFusco’s bakery were contaminated with Salmonella. The health department investigation into the DeFusco’s Salmonella outbreak revealed at least 56 cases of Salmonella linked to the consumption of bakery products, including zeppoles. Twenty-six people were hospitalized and one died due to the severity of their illnesses.

“The health department findings show health code violations that are a reflection of a seemingly cavalier attitude by DeFusco’s toward the health and safety of its customers,” Marler continued. “Especially after last summer’s nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to eggs, DeFusco’s workers should have known better than to use egg crates for storage of finished bakery products.”

BACKGROUND: Marler and his law firm, Marler Clark, have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks since 1993. The Seattle-based lawyers at Marler Clark are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice dedicated exclusively to representing victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses. For more information, or a copy of the complaint, contact Cody Moore at (206) 407-2200 or