Marler Clark, Mother of Children Sickened by Salmonella-Contaminated Cantaloupe Sues Wal-Mart

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Seattle law firm nationally recognized for work on foodborne illness cases hired to represent Michigan family

Bill Marler represents victims of the 2012 Salmonella outbreak traced to cantaloupe.

Bill Marler represents victims of the 2012 Salmonella outbreak traced to cantaloupe.

I would have expected farmers, distributors and retailers to have better food safety procedures in place this year to prevent another cantaloupe-related outbreak from happening. - Bill Marler

Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Wal-Mart on behalf of a Michigan family stricken by the latest cantaloupe-related Salmonella outbreak. The complaint was filed in Calhoun County Circuit Court in Michigan (Case no. 12-2648) on behalf of Battle Creek resident Angela Compton and her two children, who both fell ill with Salmonella Typhimurium infections after eating cantaloupe purchased from Wal-Mart in mid-July. Co-counsel on the case is respected Michigan attorney Michael Heilmann.

According to the complaint, Angela Compton purchased 3 cantaloupes at the Wal-Mart store located at 6020 B Drive North in Battle Creek on July 12, 2012, and later sliced the cantaloupes and served them to her family. Within days of eating the cantaloupe slices, one of Angela’s children, “MC”, became ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection, including diarrhea and painful abdominal cramping. She was treated several times by her pediatrician and was later seen at the emergency room for dehydration and was admitted to Bronson Kalamazoo hospital. MC was hospitalized for 4 days and continued to suffer symptoms of Salmonella infection for at least a week after she was discharged. MC’s sister, “CC”, fell ill with a Salmonella infection several days into MC’s illness. She was also treated at her pediatrician’s office, but required further treatment at the ER on three occasions. Both children tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium. Mrs. Compton later learned in conversations with Michigan health officials that her daughters’ illnesses were part of the multi-state cantaloupe outbreak linked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to melons grown in southwest Indiana.

“I’m in the middle of litigation from last year’s Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes grown in Colorado. I would have expected farmers, distributors and retailers to have better food safety procedures in place this year to prevent another cantaloupe-related outbreak from happening,” said Bill Marler, attorney for the plaintiffs. Marler represents 42 families with members who became ill during the September, 2011 Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes sold by Colorado-based Jensen Farms.

Marler and his firm, Marler Clark, have been litigating foodborne illness cases since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. The law firm has represented victims of nearly every major foodborne illness outbreak in the last 20 years, and has brought cases against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Dole, Nestle, and Taco Bell.

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