Quality Egg, which does business under the name Wright County Egg, faces a fourth lawsuit brought on behalf of a Salmonella outbreak victim by the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. The lawsuit was filed against the egg producer yesterday in Federal District Court in Iowa.
Together, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms recalled over a half-billion eggs in August after the two egg firms’ products were determined to have caused at least 2,403 people to become ill with salmonellosis. Illnesses have been confirmed in Alaska, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Wright County Egg alone recalled 380 million eggs.
Marler Clark filed this latest lawsuit on behalf of a California mother of 2 who became ill after eating a custard dessert at a graduation banquet in May 2010. She was hospitalized twice due to the severity of her Salmonella infection–once for 4 days and a second time for 5 days. While hospitalized, the plaintiff tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella enteritidis.
The California Department of Public Health has confirmed that the eggs used to make the dessert she consumed came from Wright County Egg.
“The FDA report on these farms details appalling conditions,” said food safety attorney Bill Marler, who represents several other Salmonella outbreak victims and has filed three other lawsuits against Wright County Egg. “It’s almost a given that these kind of unhygienic conditions would produce contamination and illness. I hoped I had seen the last of this kind of disregard for public safety after the peanut butter outbreak, but this case is even worse.”
See prior Food Safety News coverage of the Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farm Salmonella outbreak.