KY Woman Files First Salmonella Lawsuit Against JBS Tolleson

Dana Raab of Florence, Kentucky filed suit on October 5, 2018 in the Superior Court of Arizona against JBS Tolleson Inc. following a diagnosis of salmonella after consuming the company’s ground beef. JBS Tolleson is a part of JBS USA, which is the U.S. arm of the world’s largest meatpacking company.

Raab Consumes Meat and Begins to Experience Painful Symptoms

On September 9, 2018, Raab purchased the ground beef while shopping at Sam’s Club. Three days after her purchase, she used a portion of the ground beef to make a meatloaf, and froze the remainder. One day later, on September 13, she started to experience symptoms of vomiting, severe diarrhea, and pain in her abdomen. She attempted to get better on her own, but after two days of not being able to keep any food down, she sought medical attention.

A Trip to the Emergency Room

On September 15, Raab was admitted to the hospital for a period of five days, during which time she was diagnosed with a blocked bile duct, severe dehydration, and Salmonella Newport, after a stool sample came back positive. Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. It is a bacterium that occurs mainly in the intestine and it can be fatal to young children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Each year up to 450 die from Salmonella poisoning.

USDA Recalls Millions of Pounds of Meat Reportedly Contaminated with Salmonella

On October 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) initially recalled over 6.5 million pounds (later upping it to 6.9 million pounds) of JBS Tolleson raw beef products, as they were found to possibly be contaminated with Salmonella. As of October 5, a total of 57 people across 16 states have reported becoming sick with Salmonella. Attorney William Marler, who is representing Raab, believes that that number is likely to increase; another client from Nevada was told by the state health department that he is one of more than 200 people whom they have identified as being involved in the outbreak.

Prior Notification and a History of Inhumane Practices

According to the USDA, the meat in question was processed through JBS’ plant in Arizona. According to a USDA document included in the complaint, in 2017 the USDA had notified JBS Tollson Inc.’s president, Andre Noquiera, of various problems occurring at its Arizona plant. Per the complaint, in 2017 federal inspectors claimed that Noquiera allowed for “egregious” and “inhumane” livestock practices. According to the complaint, federal “officials found two ‘mentally incoherent’ cows laying on their side and ‘moaning as if in pain. The inspector asked for the cows to be euthanized but one died in its pen before it could be put down.” However, per the USDA document, federal inspectors did not take any action against the company.

What to Do if You’ve Purchased or Consumed Recalled Meat

The CDC advises restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell recalled beef products and consumers are urged to either return it to the store or throw it away. You should contact a healthcare provider if you believe that you have become sick from eating any recalled ground beef. Should you have any further questions about this outbreak, the CDC asks that you call its media line at (404) 639-3286.

Posted in: Personal Injury