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Son Files Salmonella Lawsuit After Mother's Death

by Mary Rothschild, Food Safety News

Dec 10, 2010

The family of a Minnesota woman who died after eating Salmonella-contaminated products made with Peanut Corporation of America ingredients is suing Kanan Enterprises of Solon, OH, maker of King Nut peanut butter.

Shirley Almer's son, Jeffrey Almer and his attorneys at the Seattle-based food safety law firm Marler Clark filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

According to the complaint, Shirley Mae Almer, a resident of the Good Samaritan Society - Bethany Rehabilitation Center in Brainerd, MN, consumed a peanut butter-based product manufactured by King Nut in early December, 2008.

On Dec. 12 she began to suffer gastrointestinal pains, her condition worsened, and she was hospitalized. She died by causes related to a Salmonella infection four days before Christmas.

Weeks later, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture issued a product safety advisory based on positive tests for Salmonella in a King Nut container of peanut butter. The next day King Nut voluntarily recalled all its products made with Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) peanut butter for potential Salmonella contamination.

"King Nut had a responsibility to Mrs. Almer, her family, and anyone else eating King Nut peanut butter to produce a safe product. That responsibility involves ensuring suppliers are providing unadulterated ingredients," said Bill Marler, attorney for the Almer family.

King Nut was one of hundreds of companies that recalled products made with Salmonella-contaminated peanuts purchased from the now defunct PCA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributed 714 cases of illness and 9 deaths to the Salmonella outbreak linked to PCA products.

Marler Clark has represented 41 clients in claims against Peanut Corporation of America.

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