Marler Clark, Gordon & Holmes and Keeney, Waite & Stevens have filed another lawsuit against Oregon berry producer Townsend Farms in San Diego County Superior Court.  The suit, filed Tuesday, was the second individual lawsuit filed on behalf of a hepatitis A outbreak victim from the San Diego area by the three law firms. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Geoff Soza, who alleges he fell ill with a hepatitis A infection after eating a frozen organic berry mix manufactured by Townsend Farms. According to the complaint, sixty-four-year-old Geoff Soza had been eating “Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” with pomegranate seeds for 6 months when he fell ill with a hepatitis A infection on a trip celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary. While in Yellowstone National Park, Mr. Soza was examined by paramedics who recommended he visit a medical center.  Hours later, Mr. Soza’s wife, Rita, drove him to a hospital in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for an evaluation. Doctors originally believed he needed gallbladder surgery, but detected abnormal liver function in pre-operation lab work, so continued with further liver testing that ultimately revealed he was positive for hepatitis A.  Mr. Soza continues to recover from his hepatitis A infection at home in California, according to a statement from the law firms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday that at least 99 people with acute hepatitis A infections had been linked to the consumption of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix. “My clients—all of them—were eating this food because they thought it was healthy.  None of them ever dreamed it would land them in hospitals or sick in bed for weeks at a time,” said attorney Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark and publisher of Food Safety News. Marler Clark has also filed class action lawsuits in all 8 states affected by the outbreaks on behalf of people who had to receive the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin because of potential exposure to the hepatitis A virus. According to CDC, the genotype of hepatitis A associated with the outbreak is 1B, a strain rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.  Hepatitis A genotype 1B was associated with outbreaks in Europe and Canada in 2013 and 2012, respectively.  In both outbreak-situations, frozen berries or frozen berry blends with pomegranate seeds were implicated as the source of illness. “It seems to me that Townsend Farms had some warning that it should be examining its suppliers’ food safety practices,” added Marler. “What we think of as healthy food can only be good for us if it is safe.”