COLUMBUS, Miss. – A Mississippi mother who survived a life-threatening case of salmonella poisoning after eating Goldfish crackers is suing Pepperidge Farm and their ingredient manufacturer Associated Milk Producers, Inc., (AMPI), seeking compensation for her injuries. The suit filed in federal court in Mississippi is believed to be the first in the nation since Pepperidge Farm® recalled millions of packages of Goldfish® in a salmonella scare.
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The salmonella victim, 26-year-old Bailey Finch of Columbus, Mississippi, said that when she ate Goldfish Flavor Blasted® Extra Cheddar on July 19, she had no idea the snack food might be contaminated. Pepperidge Farm later recalled the lot of Goldfish she had purchased, but it was too late to prevent a dangerous bout with salmonella poisoning.
After suffering severe stomach problems, Ms. Finch was initially taken to DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala., then transferred by ambulance to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., where she underwent four days of treatment for severe complications caused by the salmonella.
“Pepperidge Farm failed in their duty to ensure that the food they produce is safe to eat, and as a result, our client almost lost her life,” said attorney Bobby LeMoine of Cory Watson Attorneys in Birmingham, Ala.
LeMoine joins a team of attorneys from Cory Watson along with Patrick S. Wooten of Richard Schwartz & Associates in Jackson, Miss., working on behalf of the plaintiff.
On July 23, the FDA announced that Pepperidge Farm was voluntarily recalling four flavors of Goldfish after learning that an ingredient they used may have been contaminated with Salmonella. That ingredient, dried whey powder, was supplied by AMPI. Pepperidge Farm and AMPI are named as defendants in the suit filed on behalf of Bailey Finch in United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Aberdeen Division.
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“We want to be sure everyone who has purchased Goldfish recently knows of the salmonella risk and takes the proper precautions to protect their families. We highly encourage consumers to check their pantries for these tainted items,” said attorney Patrick Wooten, who added that “anyone who suffers salmonella symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.”
Wooten also pointed out that since Goldfish are popular with people of all ages, from infants to older adults, “they are often served as snacks in Sunday school and packed in school lunches. These tainted Goldfish truly pose a serious public health threat.”
The suit charges that the Goldfish Ms. Finch consumed were defective and unreasonably dangerous and that the defendants should have known of the defects and the danger posed. The suit also alleges the defendants failed to warn consumers of the threat posed by the crackers.
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The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to utilize proper manufacturing processes to eliminate the Salmonella Bacteria and for failing to properly test and inspect the products before putting them on the market. The suit seeks damages for medical expenses, mental and physical pain, emotional distress, lost wages, and future medical expenses.
“The companies involved must be held accountable for the safety of the products they make, and for the health of consumers who buy them. In this case, the company’s negligence led to a potentially fatal illness,” explained Co-Counsel Mitchell Theodore of Cory Watson Attorneys.
The Goldfish recall covers Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar, and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel flavors.
Click here to download and print a full list of recalled Pepperidge Farm Goldfish products.
Salmonella is an enteric bacterium, which means that it lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Salmonella bacteria are usually transmitted to humans who consume contaminated foods. Such foods usually look and smell normal, meaning that a consumer has no warning of the fact of contamination.
After being ingested, Salmonella bacteria travel to the lumen of the small intestines, then penetrate the epithelium, multiply, and enter the blood. This infection process, also referred to as the incubation period, usually takes 6 to 72 hours for the onset of symptoms. As few as 15-20 cells of Salmonella bacteria can cause infection. The acute symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, fever, and diarrhea. There is no real cure for Salmonella infection. Medical treatment provided to an infected person typically involves treatment of the symptoms.
Salmonella gastroenteritis can also result in a variety of well-documented long-term health issues, including reactive arthritis (Reiter’s syndrome), inflammatory bowel syndrome, abscess, and immunological deficiencies.
About Cory Watson Attorneys
Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm based in Birmingham, Ala., with more than 3 Billion in recoveries for clients. Attorneys are frequently appointed to leadership positions in national cases involving pharmaceuticals and defective devices. The firm has successfully represented hundreds of Salmonella victims nationwide and has assigned to this case firm co-founder Ernest Cory, principal attorney G. Rick DiGiorgio, and attorneys Bobby Lemoine and Mitchell Theodore.
Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts. To learn more, visit CoryWatson.com.
About Richard Schwartz & Associates
With more than 35 years of experience in helping those in need, Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. is the largest personal injury law firm based in Mississippi. The lawyers of Richard Schwartz & Associates care about standing up for the rights of the injured. Firm practices areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts.
Cory Watson Attorneys: Salmonella Victim Sues Pepperidge Farm® After Becoming Critically Ill
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