Cook County Record

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Suit: Decomposing bird in bag of lettuce caused woman's illness

By Bethany Krajelis | Dec 23, 2014

A Chicago woman has filed a lawsuit over claims she got sick after making a salad with a bag of lettuce she later discovered contained a decomposing bird.

Kathleen Perrone filed suit Dec. 1 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

According to the complaint, Perrone bought a bag of Dole Spring Mix lettuce on Jan. 23, 2013 at the Walmart Supercenter at 9450 Joliet Road in Hodgkins, a village in Cook County's southwest suburbs.

She claims she used half of the bag to make salad that she ate on Jan. 27, 2013 and the next day, began to feel nauseous and experience digestive distress.

When Perrone went to use the rest of the lettuce to make her husband a salad on Jan. 30, 2013, the suit alleges "she discovered a decomposing bird mixed in with the lettuce that she poured directly from the sealed bag into the bowl."

She contends the bag of lettuce was sealed shut and not past its expiration date when she purchased it. As a result of consuming the lettuce, Perrone asserts she suffered symptoms, including fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and pain and emotional distress.

Saying she "could not have reasonably expected a decomposing bird would be found in the bag" of lettuce, Perrone accuses Dole of being negligent by failing to maintain its premises in a sanitary condition and selling a product unfit for human consumption.

She seeks at least $30,000 in damages on each of her seven counts. Her suit includes counts alleging strict liability, product liability, negligence and breach of warranty against both Dole and Wal-Mart Stores, as well as a res ipsa loquitur count against Dole.

Perrone is represented by John A. Ranieri of the Law Offices of John A. Ranieri LLC in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L012429.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and represents only one side of the story

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