Walmart Faces Class Action Over Contaminated Romaine Lettuce

Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Taylor Farms are facing a nationwide class action lawsuit over allegations it sold packaged salad containing romaine lettuce that was contaminated with E.coli bacteria, despite being labeled as “triple washed and ready to enjoy.”

Plaintiffs RIck Musgrave and Margaret Gray brought the Walmart class action lawsuit on the heels of a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections and the subsequent CDC announcement that romaine lettuce from farms in the Yuma, Arizona growing region was the likely source out the outbreak. People across 25 states reported E. coli infections linked to the contaminated romaine lettuce. Thirty-one people were hospitalized, including five who developed kidney failure. There was also one recorded death.

Taylor Farms produces romaine lettuce crops in Arizona and sells its products in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. The packaged lettuce products are marketed as “fresh, handcrafted salads that are convenient, ready-to-eat” and “triple washed and ready to enjoy,”

Shortly after news of the outbreak, Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart, issued a recall for Taylor Farms products with romaine lettuce, stating that “[w]e were notified that Taylor Farms, as a result of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public advisory, has initiated a withdrawal on the items listed below due to the potential to be contaminated with E. coli.”

The recall listed the following Taylor Farms’ products with romaine lettuce:

  • Taylor Farms Fiesta Chopped Salad Kit with Grilled Chicken
  • Taylor Farms Southwest Chopped Salad
  • Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad
  • Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad
  • Taylor Farms Caesar Kit Family Size
  • Taylor Farms Chopped Romaine
  • Taylor Farms Romaine Blend
  • Taylor Farms Farmhouse Bacon Chopped Salad

According to court documents, Musgrave and Gray say that Walmart, while posting information about the Taylor Farms romaine lettuce recall on its website, the retail giant failed to offered refunds to its customers or post any notices in its stores regarding the contamination. This, they allege, put potentially tens of thousands of Taylor Farms consumers at risk for E.coli infections or worse.

“As a result of Defendants processing, manufacturing, distributing, and selling Taylor Farms’ products with romaine lettuce without taking the proper precautions, Defendants placed in the stream of commerce products that are unusable, unsafe, and have caused purchasers and consumers of those products to suffer or potentially suffer illness, as well as the loss of monies.”

In fact, Musgrave shares that he and his wife became violently sick for several days after purchasing and consuming the contaminated Taylor Farms romaine lettuce products. Additionally, Gray details in the Walmart contaminated romaine lettuce class action that she became ill with stomach issues after purchasing and consuming Taylor Farms Romaine Blend Salad.

Both plaintiffs are seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Taylor Farms Romaine Lettuce Products between February 1, 2018 to the present, as well as a California subclass. They are asking the court to award punitive damages along with restitution.

Musgrave and Gray are represented by Timothy Fisher, Blair E. Reed, and Scott A. Bursor of Bursor & Fisher PA.

The Walmart Contaminated Romaine Lettuce Class Action Lawsuit is Musgrave, et al. v. Taylor Farms Pacific Inc., et al., Case No. 4:18-cv-02841-SBA, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Claim $10 Gift Card Sam’s Club Freshness Guarantee Class Action Settlement

Who is a Class Member

Class members of the Sam’s Club Freshness Guarantee Class Action Settlement include anyone who “purchased certain Fresh Products from Sam’s Club and returned that product but did not receive the full value of the Freshness Guarantee during the applicable class periods”.

Fresh Products are defined in the Class Notice as certain fresh meat, seafood, produce or bakery items.

The settlement class period is based on the state in which you reside:

Start Date End Date State
9/11/99 11/9/17 KY
9/11/04 11/9/17 IA, IL, IN, LA, RI, WV, WY
9/11/06 11/9/17 MT, OH
9/11/08 11/9/17 AL, AZ, CT, GA, HI, MA, ME, MI, MN, MS, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, WI
9/11/09 11/9/17 AK, AR, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, ID, KS, MD, MO, NC, NE, NH, OK, PA, SC, TX, VA

 

If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other class action settlements you may be eligible for.


Settlement Amount

  • $6,000,000.00

Estimated Award

  • $10 Gift Card

Claimants can receive a $10 gift card redeemable towards purchases made at Walmart stores, Sam’s Club stores, walmart.com, or samsclub.com. The actual amount of the gift card could be higher or lower, depending on number of valid claims submitted.


Proof of Purchase

  • Claimants will need to provide their Sam’s Club membership number and list the fresh goods items they returned on their proof of claim and verification form.

Claim & Verification Form

  • class action lawsuits

Sam’s Club Freshness Guarantee Settlement Notes

  • Myriam Fejzulai, et al. v. Sam’s West, et al.
  • Case No. 6:14-cv-03601-BHH
  • Pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

In 2014, plaintiff Myriam Fejzulai brought this class action lawsuit against Sam’s Club alleging the wholesale retailer failed to fully honor its Freshness Guarantee with respect to certain fresh products.

Specifically, Fejzulai says Sam’s Club’s membership agreement guarantees that members will get a 200 percent refund on all meat, seafood, bakery, and produce items that were not fresh. However, during the course of her eight year membership, she has purchased and returned a significant number of “fresh” products but was never refunded more than the purchase price nor offered a replacement products, as her membership contract also includes a provision for. The lawsuit contends that Sam’s has treated thousands, if not millions, of its members who have returned good covered bythe 200% Freshness Guarantee in the same manner as Fejzulai.

Sam’s Club denies any and all liability or wrongdoing but has agreed to settle the allegations to avoid the cost of a trial and the risk, expense and distraction of continued litigation. Under the terms of the settlement, Sam’s Club will pay $6 million to cover the costs of settlement administration, attorney fees and expenses, and incentive awards for the Class Representatives. Eligible Class members who submit valid and timely claim forms will receive a $10 gift card that can be used towards purchases  at Walmart stores, Sam’s Club stores, walmart.com, or samsclub.com.

Complete details are provided in the Class Notice, which is available on the Sam’s Club Freshness Guarantee Settlement website.

Class members who wish to exclude themselves or object to the terms of the Sam’s Club Freshness Guarantee Settlement must do so by March 26, 2018. Class members who wish to participate in the settlement must submit their claim form on or before March 26, 2018.


Important Dates

  • 3/26/18: Claim Form Deadline
  • 3/26/18: Objection or Exclusion Deadline
  • 4/9/18: Final Hearing at 2:00 pm ET* (class members do not need to attend this hearing in order to receive a slice of the settlement pie).

Settlement Class Members who wish to speak at the hearing should check www.SamsClubFreshnessSettlement.com to confirm that the date or time of the Hearing has not been changed.


Contact Information

  • Mail: Sam’s Freshness Guarantee, RG/2 Claims Administration LLC, PO Box 59479, Philadelphia, PA 19102-9479
  • Phone: 1-866-742-4955
  • Fax: 1-215-979-1695

Class Counsel


Settlement Website