to also sue Kellogg Co. in salmonella outbreak
Source of Article:
couple suing Peanut Corporation of America over the nationwide
salmonella outbreak will also sue Kellogg
Co., their attorney said yesterday.
That came as PCA's sole insurer, Hartford Casualty
Insurance Co., indicated in court filings it would seek to limit its
liability against a likely deluge of lawsuits. More than 550 individuals have
been sickened and eight deaths have been linked to contamination at the
firm's Blakely, Ga.,
Still more companies yesterday added products to a recall list that now
exceeds 1,100 items - making this outbreak the cause of one of the biggest
recalls in U.S. history.
Gabrielle and Daryl Meunier, parents of Christopher
Meunier, 7, of South Burlington, Vt.,
last week filed a lawsuit against PCA after the child became ill with a
fever, vomiting and diarrhea on Nov. 25. During a five-day hospital stay,
tests confirmed the 7-year-old had been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium, the strain later sourced to the Georgia
plant. The boy is still recovering.
lawsuit filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Middle District of Georgia alleges he became ill after
eating Kellogg's Austin
peanut butter crackers.
Attorney Bill Marler said Kellogg was added as a
defendant after it had become clear PCA's assets
and limited insurance coverage of between $28 million to $31 million would be
insufficient once all legal action had been launched.
"Kellogg also shares liability with PCA because Kellogg is a
manufacturer of crackers that have sickened people in this outbreak,"
said Marler, a Seattle attorney with 15 years of
experience in food-borne illness cases.
King Nut, a firm that sold peanut butter supplied to it by PCA and whose
brand has been linked to several deaths in the outbreak, was also likely to
be added as a defendant, he added.
Hartford, PCA's insurer, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Virginia
on Tuesday, seeking a judgment on whether its policies apply to this
PCA yesterday issued a written statement saying federal and state regulators
regularly visited the plant. "We want the public to know that there were
regular visits and inspections of the Blakely facility by federal and state
regulators in 2008," the firm said.
"Independent audit and food safety firms also conducted customary
unannounced inspections of the Blakely facility in 2008," the statement
said, noting the plant got an overall superior rating on one visit and, in
another, was found to "meet or exceed" audit expectations.