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Simon & Luke Files First Hepatitis Lawsuit Against Townsend Farms and Costco on Behalf of Colorado Resident



 Simon & Luke Files First Hepatitis Lawsuit Against Townsend Farms and Costco
                        on Behalf of Colorado Resident

PR Newswire

HOUSTON, June 11, 2013

HOUSTON, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Houston and Steamboat Springs-based
food safety law firm of Simon & Luke has filed the first lawsuit on behalf of
a Colorado resident stemming from a multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak linked to
frozen berries manufactured by Oregon-based Townsend Farms and sold at Costco
stores.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kelly Crabtree, a 40-year old Longmont,
Colorado resident. The berries were a regular part of her family's
gluten-free, organic, all-natural diet in which they eat no processed or fast
foods.  The berries were part of Kelly's daily routine, where she drank a
smoothie for breakfast before going to work as a Montessori teacher. 

On May 20, she began to suffer severe fatigue.  On the 23^rd, she suffered an
especially difficult onset of extreme fatigue and muscle aches, which by early
morning had developed into a fever and chills. She went home early and retired
to bed.  On May 24, 2013 she was seen at an Urgent Care clinic in Longmont. 
She was given antibiotics, and diagnosed with probable bacterial infection. 
Over the next few days, her condition worsened, and she returned to Urgent
Care on May 27, where she was instructed to go directly to the Emergency Room
at Longmont United Hospital.  At Longmont, she was treated with IV hydration,
nausea medication, and blood tests were performed.  She registered elevated
liver enzymes and a low white blood cell count, and was admitted to the
hospital.  The next day, when her diagnosis was inconclusive, she was
discharged and sent home. 

She returned to the hospital on June 1, with yellowing of the eyes and skin
(jaundice).  She was again given IV hydration and additional blood tests, and
discharged.  Later that day, she received a phone call from Costco telling her
that the berries had been recalled for Hepatitis A contamination.  On June 3,
doctors confirmed that her blood test was positive for Hepatitis A. 

Kelly was later contacted by the Boulder County Health Department and informed
that she was one of the confirmed victims in the Townsend Farms / Costco
Hepatitis A outbreak.

Kelly is still recovering from her Hepatitis A infection, and will require
ongoing treatment.   Prior to her illness, she was an avid hiker, runner,
bicycler, yoga practitioner, and was in training for Xterra, in Utah this
year.

Ms. Crabtree is one of at least 87 victims in 8 states who have contracted
Hepatitis A from the contaminated berries.  The victims are located in
California, Colorado, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and
Washington.  The latest CDC report can be found here: 
http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/

Ron Simon, counsel for Ms. Crabtree, issued the following statement today:
"Costco and Townsend Farms have an obligation to make sure that the food they
sell is free of human feces.  They failed that obligation, and will now have
to answer for it."

According to Ron Simon, managing partner of Simon & Luke LLP, the firm
currently represents dozens of victims involved in this outbreak, and
anticipates filing many more lawsuits in the coming weeks.  The firm has now
filed four lawsuits against Townsend Farms and Costco, including the first
filed in the United States.

About Ron Simon and Simon & Luke
Simon & Luke's groundbreaking work on behalf of victims in several recent
outbreaks (Peter Pan peanut butter, Castleberry's chili, Nestle cookie dough,
Peanut Corporation of America Peanut products, JBS Swift beef, Daniele salami,
Subway sandwiches, Wright County Egg / Hillandale Farms eggs, Cargill ground
turkey, Agromod papayas, Moon Marine sushi, and Firefly tapas, to name a few)
have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major
television networks and print media.  

The firm has represented over 5000 victims of food-borne outbreaks in the past
five years alone, and has collected over $550,000,000 for its clients. 

The firm has offices in Houston and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The firm regularly publishes articles about food safety and litigation at
www.myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com, which are read by viewers in over 175 countries
worldwide.

SOURCE Simon & Luke, L.L.P.

Contact: Ron Simon, Simon & Luke, L.L.P., 2929 Allen Parkway, 42nd Floor,
Houston, Texas 77019, (713) 819-8116, (713) 335-4900, (713) 335-4949 (fax),
ron@simonluke.com
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