A putative class action has apparently been filed in a federal court in Illinois by six named plaintiffs who allegedly became ill after consuming Salmonella-tainted eggs from Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa. The plaintiffs’ attorney has reportedly been given permission to inspect the farms for evidence. According to a news source, the plaintiffs allege that the companies’ negligence is responsible for the outbreak and suggest that more than the known 1,500 individuals sickened by the contaminated eggs could be class members.

In a related development, news sources report that Wright County Egg had dozens of positive results for Salmonella from swabs taken on conveyor belts and in other facility areas as early as 2008 and failed to notify local, state or federal officials. Animal safety experts reportedly called such contamination “surprising” and suggested that repeated positives indicate the company was not “getting to the root cause of what the problem is.” The test-result information was apparently made public in records provided to Congress which is investigating the outbreak. See The New York Times, September 14, 2010; The Associated Press and USA Today, September 16, 2010.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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