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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Blames Paralysis on Raw Milk

PITTSBURGH (CN) - A man suffering "nearly total paralysis" from Guillain-Barre syndrome says he got it from raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria. James and Maureen Orchard say they both got campylobacteriosis food poisoning from the milk, and suffered diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. But James's disease got much worse.

He suffered loss of sensation and movement, and eventually became "totally paralyzed except for minimal movement of his head and the ability to blink his eyes," according to the complaint. James is intensive care unit with "round-the-clock" attention and requires a ventilator to breathe, his wife says.

The couple sued Pasture Maid Creamery in Allegheny County Court.

Maureen Orchard says she bought two bottles of Pasture Maid raw milk on March 16 this year. She says she and her husband both got sick, and both tested positive for Campylobacter bacteria after drinking the milk.

On March 25, "the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health advised consumers who had purchased Pasture Maid brand raw milk to discard the product immediately because of potential bacterial contamination," the complaint states.

The state had issued a similar warning about Pasture Maid in February 2009 because of "potential bacterial contamination," according to the complaint.

They Orchards say the state Department of Agriculture confirmed Campylobacter in the Pasture Maid milk on March 26 this year, and on April 5, suspended the company's permit to sell raw milk for human consumption.

She claims that "despite the March 25, 2010, advisory and recommendation by the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health, the Pasture Maid defendants disputed that its raw milk was contaminated and refused to voluntarily cease sales of raw milk."

The Orchards also sued Adam, Philip and Cindy Dean, dba Dean Farm, (not to be confused with Dean Foods, the giant dairy company). The Orchards also sued McGinnis Food Center, where they bought the milk.

The Orchards demand damages for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, liability, breach of warranty and loss of consortium. They are represented by Patrick Loughren.

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