• Trader Joe's customers suing over E. coli concerns

    By: David Ham


    SEATTLE - A Seattle woman is among six plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit over allegations that they got sick with E. Coli infections after eating salads at Trader Joe's. 

    Ginny Scoumperdis said she had excruciating pain after she ate a "Mexicali" salad from a Trader Joe's store in Queen Anne last October.

    "The pain was the worst pain that I had ever felt in my life and I’ve given birth to two kids and one of them was natural childbirth," said Scoumperdis. 

    She suffered from internal bleeding for five days, and was hospitalized for Three days from the infection. 

    "I've never ever experienced pain this excruciatingly scary I honestly thought I was dying from the pain it was so bad," said Scoumperdis. 

    Last October and November the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health departments in California and Washington State said 33 people across the country had E. coli infections from food made by Glass Onion Catering based in Northern California.  Glass Onion Catering also made salads for Trader Joe’s. 

    The only salad connected to Glass Onion catering that was recalled in Washington State was the Mexicali salad sold at Trader Joe's. 

    Food safety expert and attorney Bill Marler filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.

    He said both Glass Onion Catering and Trader Joe's were not responsive when he tried settling the suit. 

    "Trader Joe's and Glass Onion are pointing fingers at each other and potentially pointing fingers at an unknown grower of lettuce and they frankly they're fighting and they're leaving the victims uncompensated," said Marler. 

    He added, "I think consumers have a responsibility for what they can do, but this was a pre-prepared salad purchased in a store and it had cattle feces in it, which made people sick and frankly I think they should step up and take care of these people." 

    A spokeswoman for Trader Joe's wouldn't comment when we contacted her about the lawsuit. 

    "No matter what I eat it's always guaranteed I’m going to have a stomach ache after I eat," said Scoumperdis. 

    We checked to see if the Mexicali salads are back on the shelves at Trader Joe's.

     A store worker told us they have recently restocked them and they are made by a different vendor.

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