Third Lawsuit Filed in Salmonella Pine Nuts Outbreak

ROCHESTER, NY – Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, in conjunction with Rochester-based law firm Underberg and Kessler, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Rochester mother and daughter who were made ill with Salmonella after eating pine nuts. This is the third lawsuit the firms have brought against New Jersey-based Turkish pine nut importer Sunrise Commodities.

The complaint (#11CV6581T), filed in New York Federal District Court in Rochester, alleges that on October 18, 2011 Melissa Catalino and her six-year-old daughter consumed pine nuts that were purchased from a local Wegmans Food Mart. By October 21, the child had developed gastrointestinal symptoms that intensified for several days until she required emergency medical care. Ms. Catalino also developed severe symptoms of Salmonella infection and missed several days of work. Both mother and daughter are still recovering from their illnesses. The complaint further states that health officials have notified the family that both illnesses have been linked to a 43-person Salmonella outbreak tied to Turkish pine nuts.

“When you sell a food product, customer safety must be the top priority,” said Marler Clark Salmonella attorney and food safety expert William Marler. “Food manufacturers and distributers have an obligation to ensure their products are free of harmful pathogens – no exceptions.”

On November 9, 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that at least 43 Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses were linked to the consumption of Turkish pine nuts sold at Wegmans Food Marts. The FDA later announced that the pine nuts were imported and distributed by New Jersey-based Sunrise Commodities. Upon testing, the FDA confirmed Salmonella Enteritidis to be on samples of Sunrise Commodities’ pine nuts.

“We’d like to see our clients compensated fully and fairly for medical bills as well as any other costs associated with their Salmonella illnesses,” said Underberg and Kessler attorney Paul Nunes. “The bottom line is these outbreaks can be avoided.”

MARLER CLARK is the nation’s foremost law firm dedicated solely to working for victims of foodborne illness and food poisoning. The firm’s Salmonella attorneys have unparalleled experience and have recovered over 600 million dollars for thousands of clients since 1993. The Marler Clark attorneys are considered food safety experts and take great pride in the knowledge that their work in the past two decades has helped to change food safety policy in this country and around the world. For more information, or if you are a member of the media and would like a copy of the complaint, contact Cody Moore at or 206-407-2200.


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