Salmonella Lawsuit Filed Amid Continuing Outbreak Linked to Sprouts

A lawsuit stemming from a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella-tainted sprouts was filed today in the Tenth District Court for Sarpy County, Nebraska. Bellevue resident Daniel Krim, one of 121 people sickened in the February-March 2009 outbreak, is represented by foodborne illness law firm Marler Clark and by the Ausman Law firm of Omaha.

The lawsuit was filed against CW Sprouts, the Nebraska firm whose Sunsprout brand of raw sprouts was distributed to retail customers, including grocery stores and restaurants. Also named in the lawsuit is John Doe Corporation, the yet-to-be identified company that cultivated and distributed the seeds used to grow the tainted sprouts.

Daniel Krim purchased a sandwich containing the defendant’s sprouts at a LaVista Jimmy John’s restaurant in February, and fell ill the next day with flu-like symptoms including fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. His symptoms continued to worsen, causing him to seek emergency medical care. He was treated for dehydration and gave a stool sample that later revealed that he was infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul. Mr. Krim missed more than a week of work due to his illness, and lost over ten pounds.

The CDC has opened an investigation into a new Salmonella saintpaul outbreak tied to sprouts, which to date has sickened 35 people in six states: Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia. According to preliminary testing, the new outbreak appears to be an extension of the February-March outbreak in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Kansas that sickened Daniel Krim.

“Sprouts have been responsible for forty percent of all the produce-related outbreaks in the last twenty years,” said Drew Falkenstein, Mr. Krim’s attorney. “Although the FDA released guidelines for reducing pathogens in sprout production in 1999, there have still been numerous outbreaks and thousands of people like Daniel Krim have been sickened.”