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Hepatitis outbreak from frozen berries sparks Arizona class-action suit

PHOENIX -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Arizona against a company that recently had its frozen berry mix recalled from Costco stores because of an outbreak of hepatitis A.

Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark filed the suit against frozen food distributor Townsend Farms on behalf of plaintiffs Gayle Prather and Christopher Mason and other residents who consumed the recalled berries and later received a hepatitis A vaccination or immune globulin injection.

The "Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend" frozen berry and pomegranate seed was identified as the source of a hepatitis A outbreak among consumers in several Western states.

According to a press release, attorney William Marler "noted that the class action lawsuit asks that all class members be compensated for the cost of receiving a hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin injection and hepatitis A testing in addition to time missed from work and other expenses incurred due to exposure to the virus."

Marler said the suit will also ask Townsend Farms to reimburse the public health agencies for providing shot clinics and investigations related to the outbreak.

"Taxpayers should not be held responsible for this company's sub-par food safety practices," Marler said.

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