Thirty-Five Western Sizzlin Salmonella Lawsuits Filed


SPRUCE PINE, NC — Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm nationally known for its successful representation of victims of food-borne illness, and Lloyd Hise, Jr., a well-respected North Carolina attorney, filed 35 lawsuits against the Western Sizzlin Corporation on behalf of victims of salmonella poisoning. The complaint was filed at the Mitchell County Courthouse, and seeks compensation for damages resulting from a salmonella outbreak in April, 2002 at the Western Sizzlin in Spruce Pine.

William Marler, attorney for the plaintiffs, was in Spruce Pine last Monday for mediations with attorneys hired by Western Sizzlin’s insurance company. Talks broke down when the insurance company, Montgomery Insurance from Charlotte, refused to make reasonable offers to settle.

“I have litigated food-borne illness cases for over ten years,” said Marler. “After settling hundreds of salmonella cases, by now I know what a reasonable offer should look like, and the insurance company for Western Sizzlin was nowhere close to making reasonable offers to settle these cases. My clients, including several children, were violently ill with salmonella infections, many were hospitalized, and they deserve to be compensated for what they went through.”

Western Sizzlin is being sued under the North Carolina Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which states that the defendants owed a duty to the plaintiffs to prepare and sell food that was fit for human consumption. “The food my clients ate was plainly adulterated,” continued Marler. “Western Sizzlin has yet to take full responsibility for its negligence. Now it will be up to a jury to decide what the price of poisoning customers really is.”

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Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of all bacterial illnesses. William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box in 1993. In 1998, Marler Clark resolved the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children developed HUS and were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice for $12 million. Marler Clark presently represents over 100 victims of Salmonella poisonings in the States of Michigan, California and New York. The partners at Marler Clark speak frequently on a variety of food safety issues. Marler Clark is also proud to sponsor Web sites about Salmonella and about Salmonella litigation.

More about the Western Sizzlin' Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.