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Lawsuits suggest more shoes to drop in SoyNut Butter outbreak

The lawyers representing victims in the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to I.M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Butter are definitely expecting more defendants to surface.

They keep adding “John Does”  by the number “whose identities and citizenship are presently unknown, (but) were involved in the manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of the product the caused Plaintiffs’  injuries.”

I.M. Healthy brand creamy SoyNut Butter labelAttorneys Gary A. Newland and Bill Marler have filed a third lawsuit against the Glenview, IL-based SoyNut Butter Company, which is described in the latest complaint as “a manufacturer, distributor and seller of The SoyNut Butter products to customers across the country.”

As of March 13, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there were 16 confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 in nine states that are associated with the I.M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Butter.

The latest lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lisa Kelli and Derek Vanderby, a married couple from Sonoma County, CA. Mrs. Vanderby was sickened on or about Jan. 20, 2017, and hospitalized with a confirmed E. coli infection.

She is one of eight people hospitalized to date in the current outbreak. Five of those have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS, which can cause potentially life-threatening kidney failure.

SoyNut Butter Co. has not yet responded to any of the pending lawsuits. The Vanderby case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Sara L. Ellis.

The company has expanded its recall to include both Granola and Dixie Diner’s Club Brand Carb Not Beanit Butter. Earlier it recalled I.M. Healthy Original Creamy SoyNut Butter with the Best By date of 08-30-18 or 08-31-18.

The Plaintiffs are represented by the Chicago area’s Newland & Newland and the Seattle-based Marler Clark LLP, PS. Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark, is known for his expertise in food safety. He is also publisher of Food Safety News.

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