A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a suburban leukemia patient whose lawyers claim he wound up with meningitis after purportedly eating tainted egg-white salad with chives purchased at a Trader Joe's store.
Vladimir Sokhatskiy, 57, became sickened after consuming the salad early this month, according to the personal injury and product liability complaint filed in Cook County circuit court Wednesday. Sokhatskiy is from Lake County, but his hometown was not immediately available.
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More than $150,000 in damages are sought from California-based Trader Joe's Inc. and Lansal Inc., a Massachusetts prepared foods company accused of making the egg-white salad. Lansal also is known as Hot Mama's Foods.
Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki declined to comment on the lawsuit. Lansal did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Sokhatskiy's Seattle-based lawyers, William Marler and R. Drew Falkenstein, contend their client developed a fever and headache several days after eating the egg-white salad the suit alleges was tainted with listeria and sold in a six-ounce plastic container at the Northbrook Trader Joe's.
After Sokhatskiy was admitted to Northwestern Highland Park Hospital with a 104-degree fever, his attorneys said, test results showed the listeria infection led to him developing bacterial meningitis. The lawsuit contends Sokhatskiy has a suppressed immune system from the leukemia and was "highly susceptible" to bacterial infection.
Sokhatskiy was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2005 and now undergoes chemotherapy treatments, according to his attorneys.
On June 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Lansal, as a precaution, voluntarily recalled 304 containers of the Trader Joe's egg-white salad with chives due to concerns about possible listeria monocytogenes. The salad in question was sold at Trader Joe's in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to the FDA.
FDA officials said listeria is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.