Texas woman sues ConAgra over tainted pot pie

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 16, 2009, 6:28am

MARSHALL -- Shortly after eating a Banquet pot pie, an East Texas woman claims she became very ill and was hospitalized for five days.

The food she consumed was later linked to a Salmonella outbreak and recalled.

Alleging the pot pie was defective and unsafe for its intended purpose, Linda Reese filed suit against ConAgra Foods Inc. on July 15 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

After her hospitalization, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture advised consumers not to eat Banquet pot pies. ConAgra issued a voluntary recall of all frozen pot pies that were linked to the possible Salmonella outbreak.

The plaintiff accuses the defendant of negligence in the manufacturing, assembly, supply, and marketing of the Banquet pot pies.

Reese states that the pot pie had inadequate instructions, warning, and labeling regarding proper cooking.

Causes of action filed against the defendant include strict liability, violation of the Texas Deceptive Practices-Consumer Protection Act, misrepresentation, gross neglect and malice.

The plaintiff alleges that ConAgra breached that express and implied warrants that the food was merchantable and safe for consumption.

Seeking punitive damages, the plaintiff alleges, "ConAgra was willful, grossly negligent and malicious in that these actions were carried out with flagrant disregard for the rights of others and with actual awareness on the part of Defendant that its actions would, and in reasonable probability did, result in the injuries of Linda Reese."

Reese is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, medical care, physical impairment, loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity, pre and post-judgment interest, and attorney's fees and costs.

Longview attorney Chris Jones of the law firm Jones and Jones is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No: 2:09cv0028

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