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Taco John's corps. file lawsuit against food suppliers

24.sep.07

Argus Leader Media News

Josh Verges

Less than a year after contaminated lettuce was blamed for making dozens of customers sick, Taco John’s corporations in South Dakota and surrounding states are suing food suppliers for negligence.

The class-action lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Sioux Falls, seeks a jury trial and $5 million.

Named as plaintiffs are Taco John’s corporations in Iowa, Minnesota and North and South Dakota.

Defendants are Bix Produce Company of St. Paul, Minn. and Roma Food Enterprises, a Delaware corporation; two more defendants listed as X and Y represent companies Taco John’s has been unable to identify.

The cover sheet on the filing describes the cause of the action as “negligence in the handling of food.” U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol agreed to seal the complaint, so little else about the initial filing is publicly available.

It’s unclear if the lawsuit is connected to last year’s E. coli contamination, but the Associated Press reported in December that Taco John’s International dropped Bix Produce as a supplier in the wake of that outbreak.

Barbara Bagdon, a Minneapolis lawyer representing Taco John’s, declined to comment today.

“It’s filed under seal and there’s a reason for that,” she said.

A call to Bix Produce was not immediately returned.

More on this outbreak: Taco John's E. coli Outbreak

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