A woman who says she became ill after drinking orange juice tainted with salmonella is suing the Florida producer, claiming it was negligent in selling an unpasteurized product in West Virginia, Michigan and elsewhere.
Heather Dowdy of Caldwell filed the lawsuit against Orchid Island Juice Co. of Fort Pierce, Fla., late Thursday in U.S. District Court. Her lawyer, Seattle food illness specialist Bill Marler, said it may be the first of several cases.
15 cases of illness between mid-May and June have been linked to consumption of Orchid Island Juice in Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts. At least 16 other states have reported cases of salmonella that match the strain, but the FDA said it still was investigating to see if they were related to Orchid Island.
Orchid Island Juice has said it’s cooperating with investigators in identifying the source of the contamination. On July 8, Orchid Island Juice announced a recall of unpasteurized orange juice products it said may have been contaminated with salmonella. Last week, it expanded the list of brands.