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    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Lawyers to the Rescue: They are swift. Peanut butter goes to court:

    The lawsuit against ConAgra was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Last week, Marler filed separate lawsuits against ConAgra in New York and Missouri on behalf of others who fell ill.

    The company has not commented on the lawsuits except to say consumer safety is its top priority.

    Marler said he hopes the latest lawsuit will include all those who had typical cases of salmonella, a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, fever and chills.

    ....Since last week, Marler said, some 3,000 people from more than 40 states have contacted his Seattle firm, Marler Clark, primarily known for representing people who are stricken by E. coli from tainted food such as hamburgers or spinach. He had to hire extra help to answer phone calls and e-mails, he said.

    ....The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially says that nearly 300 people in 39 states, including four people in Washington, have been sickened since August. Not all cases have been linked to contaminated peanut butter. The CDC has attributed no deaths to the outbreak.

    ...But Marler contends that there has been "an enormous miscount" because most people who got sick were not tested and did not suspect their peanut butter until last week's recall. And he said he is checking reports of four suspicious deaths in other states that could be related.

    Marler said he plans to test about 1,500 jars of peanut butter held by families reporting illness.

    Winter is diarrhea season here in the United States, and most of those cases are caused by a virus. Chances are, most of those 3,000 people who called Marler had the routine run-of-the-mill viral gastroenteritis. It's amazing how many people reached for the phone to call an attorney. They smell money, and it's tax free.

    posted by Sydney on 2/21/2007 08:22:00 AM 4 comments


    If you had a few hundred in medical bills and it might be due to someone else's negligence, wouldn't you make a call to find out if you could get that amount reimbursed?

    After all, the money you spent was after tax dollars.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 PM  

    "After all, the money you spent was after tax dollars."

    It was after-insurance dollars, too.

    So expect insurance companies will also crowd into this line. Oh, and let's not forget Medicare and Medicaid.

    Stella Baskomb

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:03 AM  

    The plaintiffs are seeking damages of $75,000 maximum, hardly a big-dollar lawsuit. Both the plaintiff and the lawyer averred that they are not seeking large amounts of money, but are simply pressing this suit to force ConAgra to reveal what it knew and when it knew it.

    That may or may not be a wise objective of the litigation, but to paint this as merely another kind of ambulance-chasing seems if not inaccurate, at least oversimplified.

    By Blogger Daniel Goldberg, at 11:14 AM  

    Incidentally, at least one plaintiff's estate is now claiming that it caused a death.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:05 PM  

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