The first lawsuit was filed this morning in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, (CV07-2661), against Robert’s American Gourmet, the manufacturer of Veggie Booty, the snack food that was recalled on June 28 after public health officials identified the product as the source of a nationwide Salmonella outbreak. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Valparaiso, Indiana, residents David and Ashlee Allen, whose 18-month-old son, Xavier, became ill with a severe Salmonella infection after eating Salmonella-contaminated Veggie Booty in May, and continues to suffer from the effects of Salmonella. The Allen family is represented by Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks, and Underberg & Kessler, a respected Rochester, NY law firm that has worked with Marler Clark on dozens of prior Salmonella outbreak cases.

Xavier Allen consumed some of the Veggie Booty on May 20, and became ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection, including bloody diarrhea, on May 23. Xavier was treated in the emergency room on May 26, and submitted a stool sample for testing. He was released to recover at home, but received additional treatment from a health care provider multiple times in the subsequent days. Xavier’s stool sample cultured positive for Salmonella Wandsworth, and his parents were contacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who linked his case to nearly 55 others in 17 states. At present, Xavier continues to suffer from symptoms of Salmonella infection, and is under medical supervision.

“Xavier and other small children across the country have suffered debilitating illnesses, and all their parents could do was sit and watch,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark, noting that the CDC reported nearly all outbreak-cases were children under the age of ten. “These families deserve compensation for not just medical expenses, but for all they went through – and are still going through in cases like the Allens’.”

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark ( has represented thousands of victims of bacterial, viral, and parasitic foodborne illness since 1993. The firm has litigated high-profile E. coli and Salmonella cases against such companies as Jack in the Box, Odwalla, Malt-O-Meal, ConAgra, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Dole. Underberg & Kessler, together with Marler Clark, has represented victims of E. coli, Salmonella, and hepatitis A outbreaks, including 72 victims of the Brook-Lea Country Club Salmonella outbreak in 2002, 93 victims of the 2006 Dole spinach E. coli outbreak and nearly 5,000 victims of the 2007 ConAgra Salmonella outbreak. Contact: William D. Marler – (206) 794-5043 or