BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The Seattle law firm Marler Clark announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of Angela Compton over the purchase of cantaloupes at a Battle Creek, Mich., store.
The lawsuit contends that after eating cantaloupe purchased from Wal-Mart, Compton’s two children became sick with salmonella associated with the multistate outbreak linked to cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms, Owensville, Ind.
Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the Battle Creek store did not offer the recalled cantaloupes.
“We were able to quickly determine that the cantaloupes in our store in Battle Creek, Mich., were not sourced from the farm located in Owensville, Ind., which the FDA’s implicated as the source of the outbreak,” Hargrove told SN.
“At this point, we still don’t have any indication or confirmation that any of the illnesses associated with the outbreak have been linked to purchases made from our stores,” he said.
Wal-Mart will continue to monitor the situation, Hargrove said.
Read more: 141 Infected by Cantaloupe-Linked Salmonella
Drew Falkenstein, attorney at Marler Clark, noted that it takes time for all the details of food safety investigations to become clear. With an ongoing food safety investigation like this, “sometimes these cantaloupes can be difficult for stores to trace, and therefore, I think it just needs to go through the process a bit more, and we’ll get clarity one way or another,” he said.
If it turns out the Compton bought the tainted cantaloupes elsewhere, the firm will amend the lawsuit, Falkenstein said.
“The reason we sued Wal-Mart in the case in the original filing is because they had been instructed to pull the cantaloupes from their shelves; the time frame fit with the purchase of several cantaloupes from that Wal-Mart location. ... But to the extent that that changes, then we modify the complaint at that date.”
The lawsuit was filed in Calhoun County Circuit Court in Michigan.
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