US: First lawsuit filed in salmonella outbreak tied to sushi
Posted: April 20th, 2012 - 5:32pm
The first lawsuit spawned by a salmonella outbreak that appears to be linked to sushi -- which has now sickened 141 people in 20 states plus the District of Columbia -- was filed late Wednesday against Moon Marine U.S.A. Corp, a Cupertino, Calif., seafood importer.
The suit alleges that two Wisconsin women, ages 22 and 33, were hospitalized and still are recovering from salmonella poisoning contracted six to nine weeks ago when they dined, separately, at the same local restaurant, both consuming tuna rolls originally sold by Moon Marine.
“I was just in complete body pain from head to toe and the next day I got bloody diarrhea. I couldn’t even drink water,” said Amy Karfonta, 22, of Muskego, Wisc. Her symptoms appeared six days after she ate the suspect sushi. She then made two trips to local emergency rooms where doctors obtained a stool sample, re-hydrated her with intravenous fluids and examined her colon via a CT scan.
“When they saw how bad my colon was ulcerated, they first thought it could have been Crohn’s disease, or something where I may have had to have my colon removed at 22,” Karfonta said. Her most severe symptoms began to wane after the ER treatments.
The suit, filed by the Houston-based lawfirm Simon & Luke, with co-counsel the Gomez Law Firm, centers on a product called “Nakaochi Scrape” -- frozen backmeat shaved from fish bones and sold by Moon Marine to retailers and distributors across the nation. The “Scrape” wound up in nearly 60,000 pounds of raw, ground yellowfin tuna later recalled by Moon Marine after it was linked to hundreds of salmonella infections during the past two months.
A phone call made by msnbc.com to Moon Marine USA was routed to voicemail and the company did not immediately respond with a comment.