By: Staff Writers | Published: September 20th, 2010
A salmonella food poisoning class action lawsuit has been filed against two farms that allegedly sold millions of contaminated eggs that have sickened hundreds of people throughout the United States.
The egg recall lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago last week on behalf of six plaintiffs from Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York and Mississippi. The lawsuit seeks class action status to represent all people who bought or fell ill after eating eggs from Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa.
Last month, the two companies had to recall more than half a billion eggs nationwide due to salmonella contamination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that at least 1,519 people have fallen ill from salmonella poisoning from the eggs, but it is likely that the true number of food poisoning cases is much higher since most illnesses are never reported.
The egg farms have long been plagued by problems, which have only come to light in the aftermath of the egg recall. The companies have been cited numerous times in the past due to non-compliance with a variety of federal regulations. A congressional hearing has been scheduled for next week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who say that U.S. Congress investigators found that Wright County Egg found salmonella in 426 tests of its eggs between 2008 and 2010.
The lawsuit accuses the company of negligence and failing to meet federal regulations.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe food poisoning. For most healthy adults, symptoms of food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.
Both Hillandale Farms and Wright County Egg share some of the same suppliers, and while contaminated chicken feed has been found at both farms, the FDA has yet to determine that the feed was the source of the salmonella contamination.