28 people in 8 states have fallen ill due to e. coli exposure from Topps frozen hamburgers and now a class action lawsuit has been filed against the meat processor and several grocery stores who sold the product. 10 people have been hospitalized. One has hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which causes kidney failure.
Last week, Topps recalled 21.7 million pounds of frozen hamburger patties, making it the one of the largest recalls of its kind and the company’s first in 67 years of operation. From the NYT:
The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in New York, seeks compensation from Topps and a number of stores that stock its frozen meat, including Wal-Mart, ShopRite and Pathmark. The suit names four plaintiffs, according to Robert K. Jenner, a Baltimore lawyer.
One plaintiff, Jimmy Patton of Springdale, Ark., bought a bag of Sam’s Choice Backyard Gourmet Beef Burgers on Sept. 15 from Wal-Mart, the suit said. Seven days later he cooked and ate the beef. By Sept. 26, the suit said, Mr. Patton “began exhibiting symptoms of E. coli exposure, including but not limited to severe abdominal cramps, severe bloody diarrhea and fatigue.”
Topps, a meat processor that doesn’t slaughter animals, has suspended production of hamburger and is working to locate the source of the contaminated beef.