Boise couple files lawsuit against Townsend Farms for tainted berries

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Townsend Farms is facing several lawsuits after shipping out frozen berries linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak in the western United States. One of those lawsuits is right here in Idaho.

An Idaho couple who purchased the berries is teaming up with a law firm in Seattle that handles major food borne illness cases.

They're filing a class action lawsuit asking Townsend Farms to reimburse any Idahoans who have or will have to get tested for Hepatitis A, or have to receive preventative care for the virus.

Michael and Marisa Berndt say they ate berries shipped from Townsend farms to a Boise Costco in May. As a precaution, they got Hepatitis A vaccinations. They say they went through lot of stress about getting the virus, because they're expecting a baby.

KBOI 2News talked with one of the attorneys working on this suit. Lawyer Drew Falkenstein says people like the Berndts should be compensated.

"The amount of money that people have spent to avoid the development of symptoms, many people have missed work as a result of that," he said, "There is the worry and the fear of developing an illness like Hepatitis A...all of those things that need to be addressed and things that Townsend Farms is liable for as a result of the contamination."

Falkenstein says Idahoans who are at risk of being infected will spend a couple of hundred dollars each on the tests and injections. The CDC has confirmed 87 cases of Hepatitis A linked to the contaminated berries. But Falkenstein says up to 300,000 bags of them could have been sold.