Sisters Sue Macomb County Restaurant and Meat Supplier in Salmonella Case

Two Michigan-based meat suppliers and a restaurant were named as defendants in a Salmonella lawsuit brought by Seattle-based Marler Clark on Friday. The lawsuit was filed in Macomb County Circuit Court on behalf of Macomb County residents M.T. and S.J.—two of at least nine Michigan residents who were part of a 16-person multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef in December. Defendants named in the lawsuit are Ike’s Restaurant, Jouni Meat and Gab Halal Foods.

According to the complaint, sisters M.T. and S.J. consumed kibbeh purchased from Ike’s Restaurant on December 8, 2012. Both plaintiffs fell ill with gastrointestinal illness on December 11, with symptoms worsening over the next several days. On December 15, M.T.'s husband rushed to her the hospital, while S.J. called an ambulance for help. Both women were admitted for treatment and were hospitalized for seven days. The complaint alleges that they continued to suffer fatigue, weakness and ongoing gastrointestinal problems for weeks, resulting in substantial time missed at work due to their illnesses, hospitalizations and recoveries. Stool samples submitted during their hospitalizations returned positive for a strain of Salmonella indistinguishable from a strain isolated from other Salmonella case-patients across the country who had consumed beef produced by Jouni Meat and Gab Halal Foods.

Jouni Meats and Gab Halal Foods both initiated ground beef recalls in late January, 2013 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the Salmonella outbreak could be traced to the companies’ products. Residents of Arizona (1), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (9) and Wisconsin (3) all became ill after eating the contaminated meat, including 5 others who purchased raw beef kibbeh from Ike’s Restaurant.

“My clients didn’t know the source of their illnesses until weeks after they had become ill,” said attorney Bill Marler, who noted that his clients believed the kibbeh they purchased from Ike’s Restaurant had been prepared with ground lamb rather than ground beef. “They’re lucky to have found out at all.”

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks, including E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus outbreaks in Michigan. The firm has recovered over $600,000,000 on behalf of victims across the nation and is the only law firm in the nation with a practice dedicated exclusively to representing victims of foodborne illness.