attorneys finding it difficult to prove fault
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Thousands of people likely were sickened by salmonella-contaminated eggs from two Iowa companies last summer, but lawyers said far fewer have the proof needed for a successful lawsuit and most cases filed will be settled out of court.
So far, attorneys in Seattle, Houston, Chicago and Minneapolis have filed at least 10 cases related to recalls by Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa. The companies recalled 550 million eggs in August after a salmonella outbreak was traced to their farms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked at least 1,600 illness to the eggs, and CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said for every case reported there may be up to 30 more.
Lawyers said they know of hundreds of people who claim they became sick after eating eggs, but the challenge for victims is proving they became ill because they ate contaminated eggs. "Without a positive culture, it's difficult to link egg consumption to the illness," said Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who has filed six cases in Iowa. "Just because you bought eggs and got sick, it's probably not enough to prove a case."