The first salmonella lawsuit has been filed as a result of the recent food poisoning outbreak which has sickened over 1,300 people throughout the United States. The lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Montezuma County, Colorado against Wal-Mart and an unidentified supplier for selling raw jalapeno peppers contaminated with the Salmonella Saintpaul strain of bacteria.
Confirmed cases of food poisoning involving Salmonella Saintpaul have been identified in 43 different states, the District of Columbia and Canada since April 10, 2008. While the FDA and CDC first indicated that certain types of raw red tomatoes could be the source of the contamination, recent investigations have discovered that Serrano peppers and Jalapeno peppers grown on farms in Mexico could be contaminated, and consumers have been urged to avoid eating the peppers or any foods containing them, including salsa.
Although the FDA has not concluded their investigation into the exact source of the salmonella outbreak, the first food poisoning lawsuit was filed on August 1, 2008 on behalf of Brian Grubbs. The salmonella lawsuit indicates that the Colorado man purchased raw jalapeno peppers from Wal-Mart’s Super Center in Cortex, Colorado in late June.
During the days after consuming some of the peppers, Grubbs experienced severe vomiting, fever, chills and diarrhea, which eventually required treatment for dehydration and reduced kidney and liver function at a New Mexico hospital.
Samples taken at the hospital confirmed that Grubbs suffered from salmonella food poisoning caused by the Salmonella Saintpaul strain of bacteria, which has been the common fingerprint in other confirmed cases. Uneaten peppers which had been purchased by Grubbs were later tested by health authorities, who confirmed that they were contaminated with Salmonella Saintpaul.
The lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart and a “John Doe” supplier alleging claims for strict product liability, negligence and negligence per se for selling the contaminated jalapenos. Hundreds of other potential salmonella lawsuits are being investigated by food poisoning lawyers throughout the United States, who are holding off on filing cases until after the conclusion of the FDA investigations.