Packing companies sued over beef containing E. coli

Posted November 4, 2009 By Christine McConville   A week after suppliers of tainted ground beef recalled tons of their products, the families of two New England children who fell ill after eating the beef are suing the companies.   Yesterday in Plymouth District Court, lawsuits were filed against Brockton-based South Shore Meats and Fairbank Farms Inc. of Ashville, N.Y.   In one complaint, the parents of Andrea Munro of Marshfield, say their 12-year-old daughter was infected with the potentially deadly Escherichia coli bacteria after eating Fairbank Farms’ beef on Sept. 24. The family lawyer has said the beef was purchased from Star Market in Marshfield.   In the second case, the mother of Austin Richmond, 11, of Lincoln, R.I., says her son was infected last month with E. coli after eating a hamburger on a school outing at Camp Bournedale in Plymouth. The boy’s burger was reportedly made with meat from South Shore Meats, a unit of Crocetti’s Oakdale Packing Co.   Fairbank Farms has recalled more than half a million pounds of fresh ground beef products, while Crocetti’s has recalled 1,039 pounds of ground beef. The companies did not return phone calls seeking comment.   The plaintiffs in yesterday’s lawsuits are represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm, and Somerset lawyer Steven Sabra. The suits seek unspecified damages.   Two deaths and 28 illnesses in the Northeast have been linked to the Fairbank Farms beef recall, according to federal health officials.

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