A Minnesota man who was hospitalized after eating salmonella-tainted eggs filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against the two Iowa food producers that recalled over 500 million eggs last month.
According to the lawsuit, Burton Coy, of Waldorf, Minn., purchased the eggs at a Wal-Mart in Waseca. He cooked the eggs on August 13, the same day Wright County Egg issued its first recall notice, the complaint said.
"An elderly man in a small town in southern Minnesota probably isn't going to be the first to know of a recall," said Charles Zimmerman, the attorney representing Coy.
Several hours after eating the eggs, Coy, 80, fell ill with severe stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. He was admitted to a local hospital two days later, where he had his stomach pumped and received IV fluids.
The hospital obtained a stool sample, which tested positive for salmonella, Zimmerman said. Coy was discharged on August 17. His attorney said Coy remains weak from the illness, but is recovering at his home.
"Any time an 80-year-old person has to have his stomach pumped and be in the hospital for three days, it's a risky situation," Zimmerman said.
Six other people filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Chicago last week, alleging that the food producers failed to comply with food safety regulations. Zimmerman said it's likely that the separate suits will be consolidated and assigned to the same court.
Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms have been under scrutiny after more than 1,500 people fell ill after eating eggs traced back to the two companies. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Food and Drug Administration inspection found many possible sources of salmonella contamination at both farms, including rodent and wild bird infestations, uncontained manure, holes in walls and other problems. The FDA also found positive samples of Salmonella Enteritidis.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)