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First Lawsuit Filed in Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

Being sued are Peanut Corp. of America, whose Georgia manufacturing facility is implicated in the outbreak, and an Ohio distributor of King Nut brand peanut butter, produced by Peanut Corp., according to Associated Press reports.

Relatives of Shirley Mae Almer filed the wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, attorney Fred Pritzker said in a news release. The complaint says her death was a direct result of eating peanut putter infected by the same genetic strain of salmonella linked to the nationwide outbreak. Almer had been staying in a nursing home in Brainerd, Minnesota, and died December 21.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak may have contributed to eight deaths nationwide. As of Monday, more than 501 people in 43 states had been sickened and more than 180 products, from vending snacks and energy bars to dog biscuits, had been recalled due to possible contamination.

Among other accusations, Almer's family alleges both the manufacturer and distributor failed to train and supervise employees properly and failed to make, store and transport their products in a safe manner.

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