A Chicago man has served a class action lawsuit against Wonderful
Pistachios, saying the nuts seller and Sam’s Club should be made to pay for a
Salmonella outbreak allegedly tied to contaminated pistachio nuts.
On March 29, Alejandro Reyes, through attorney Thomas H.
Zimmerman and others with the Zimmerman Law Offices, of Chicago, filed suit in
Cook County Circuit Court against the California-based Wonderful company and
retailer Sam’s Club, alleging they were negligent in selling nuts contaminated
with the illness-causing bacteria, and for not warning consumers the raw nuts
could be contaminated.
Reyes asked the court to expand the lawsuit to potentially
include thousands of other plaintiffs in Illinois who may have purchased the
contaminated pistachios and, like himself, may have fallen ill after eating the
According to the lawsuit, Reyes purchased a bag of Wonderful
Pistachios at a Sam’s Club in Chicago in December 2015.
Reyes then took the pistachios home, where he ate some. Soon
thereafter, the lawsuit said, Reyes became ill with abdominal pain, diarrhea
and other symptoms consistent with Salmonella infection. However, after
recovering several days later, Reyes purportedly ate more of the pistachios,
and again became ill with the same symptoms.
The complaint notes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
and the Centers for Disease Control and state public health agencies, in early
2016, traced a Salmonella outbreak in various places across the U.S. to allegedly
contaminated pistachios produced by Wonderful.
The complaint asks the court to approve two potential
classes of additional plaintiffs: Everyone in Illinois who developed symptoms
consistent with Salmonella infection within 72 hours of consuming Wonderful
Pistachios, and everyone in Illinois who bought Wonderful Pistachios at a Sam’s
Club store, and then became ill within 72 hours of eating the nuts.
The complaint requests unspecified damages, including actual
damages sustained by those who allegedly were sickened by the alleged
contaminated pistachios, and attorney fees.