SAN DIEGO, Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the national food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates, along with Gomez Trial Attorneys of San Diego, filed the first wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Salmonella-contaminated cucumbers.
The tainted cucumbers were imported from Mexico and distributed to numerous US retail outlets and restaurants by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce (A&W) under the Limited Edition label. CDC health officials have linked the cucumbers to a nationwide Salmonella Poona outbreak that has killed two victims and sickened hundreds more.
The firms filed the lawsuit against A&W in the Southern District Court of California in San Diego on behalf of Mildred Hendricks and her successor-in-interest Pamela Hendricks Drawbaugh. A&W is headquartered in San Diego, where Mildred Hendricks lived at the time of her death.
A copy of the lawsuit and a photo of Mildred Hendricks are attached.
Mildred Hendricks consumed A&W Limited Edition cucumbers in August 2015. Shortly thereafter, she began to suffer from severe Salmonella food poisoning. She sought medical attention and doctors immediately admitted her to the hospital on August 14th. But despite efforts by her medical team, she passed away on August 17th from acute Salmonella poisoning.
Cultures taken at the hospital tested positive for Salmonella Poona matching the outbreak strain linked to tainted A&W Limited Edition cucumbers.
Mildred Hendricks was 99 and living independently at home at the time of her death. She was scheduled to celebrate her 100th birthday this coming December with her family and friends in San Diego.
Andrew & Williamson Recalls Tainted Limited Edition Cucumbers
In August of 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local health agencies became aware of a growing number of Salmonella Poona cases nationwide. Within weeks, the CDC identified 341 victims in 30 states. The outbreak had hospitalized at least 70 and caused the deaths of 2 individuals, including Mildred Hendricks and another individual in Texas.
Federal investigators identified A&W Limited Edition cucumbers imported from Mexico as the likely source of the outbreak. Leftover A&W cucumbers collected from restaurants and grocery stores where victims had eaten subsequently tested positive for Salmonella. San Diego health officials also collected cucumbers from the A&W facility which tested positive for Salmonella.
On September 4th, A&W recalled its Limited Edition cucumbers, referred to as a "slicer" or "American" cucumbers. They are dark green in color, typically measure 7 to 10 inches in length, and are traditionally sold in bulk displays without any individual packaging or plastic wrapping.
Food Safety Attorney Issues Statement and Establishes Salmonella Claim Center
National food safety attorney Ron Simon, who represents the family of Mildred Hendricks and other victims of the cucumber Salmonella outbreak, issued the following statement today: "When importers fail to properly clean and test the food they sell, they put their customers in harm's way. Unfortunately, Mildred Hendricks paid the ultimate price. Her death is a tremendous loss to her family and community. She will be missed."
Mr. Simon is in San Diego today meeting with clients and media. To assist victims of the outbreak, his law firm has established a Salmonella Claim Center which can be reached toll-free at 1-888-335-4901.
About Food Safety Attorney Ron Simon
Over the last 20 years, Ron Simon and his colleagues have prosecuted thousands of food poisoning cases for victims across the United States. His work has resulted in numerous upgrades to food safety procedures in Fortune 500 companies and in legislation designed to protect consumers from dangerous food-borne pathogens.
Mr. Simon and his clients have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major television networks and print media. Mr. Simon has collected over $600,000,000 for his clients. He regularly publishes articles about food safety and litigation at www.foodpoisoningnews.com which are read by viewers in over 180 countries.
Through litigation, media commentary, and his food safety publications, Mr. Simon relentlessly challenges food manufacturers, distributors, and restaurants to do a better job in making our food safe.
For media inquiries or more information on the salmonella outbreak and ongoing litigation, please contact Ron Simon directly at (713) 819-8116 or [email protected].
SOURCE Ron Simon & Associates