Prison Salmonella Poisoning Lawsuits Result in $700K Settlement

Following a salmonella food poisoning outbreak at a Pennsylvania prison, federal officials have reportedly agreed to pay a $700,000 settlement to hundreds of prisoners who filed lawsuits alleging they were sickened after being served tainted food.  

The lawsuits were filed by inmates from the Canaan penitentiary in Pennsylvania against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in the wake of a 2011 outbreak that was caused by chicken left out at room temperature for more than a week before it was used to prepare fajitas for the prisoners.

According to a report by, the settlement resolves at least 446 of 513 claims filed by prisoners in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. A search of the Treasury Department’s Judgment fund payment website for the Bureau of Prisons reveals that hundreds of plaintiffs from Pennsylvania received $2,000 or $1,500.

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The lawsuits accused the prison of negligence and claimed that the Bureau broke its own rule about providing healthy meals to inmates, which prisoners’ attorneys say in this case conflicted with the prison’s policy of never letting food go to waste. Prisoners say they complained about the smell of the chicken but were ignored.

Salmonella infections may pose serious and sometimes fatal infections among those with weakened immune systems such as children, the elderly and pregnant women. Symptoms for healthy individuals typically consist of fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In some cases the salmonella infection can spread to the blood stream resulting in more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis.

Salmonella bacterium has over 2,300 serotypes that are impossible to see from the naked eye. The CDC estimates that Salmonella infections account for roughly 1.4 million food borne illnesses per year and roughly 400 fatalities annually in the United States alone.


  • lisaJanuary 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    anyone w any info w where to call please let me no my man was involved and lost contact we are getting the run around any help will be appreciated thank you

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