Suit: Egg salad bought at Northbrook Trader Joe’s caused man’s bacterial meningitis

A Lake County man has filed a lawsuit against Trader Joe’s, alleging he got bacterial meningitis from a product purchased at the grocer’s Northbrook location.

Vladimir Sokhatskiy says he developed the bacterial infection after eating a later-recalled egg white salad he purchased at the Trader Joe’s location at 127 Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook, according to the lawsuit.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, names California-based Trader Joe’s and Massachusetts-based Hot Mama’s Foods, which allegedly manufactured the egg salad product.

Sokhatskiy says he bought a container of the “Egg White Salad with Chives” on June 2, 2014, six days before Hot Mama’s Foods recalled 304 containers of the product for concerns of possible Listeria monocytogenes, according to the suit. The “potentially deadly pathogen” can cause serious or fatal infections in people with weakened immune systems, as well as miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, the suit states.

Sokhatskiy, 57, who allegedly began chemotherapy this year for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, has a “suppressed immune system, making him highly susceptible to bacterial infection.”

Tests showed that Sokhatskiy developed bacterial meningitis as a result of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the suit. He was hospitalized June 8 and spent time in a rehabilitation center before being released on June 25, the suit states. Sokhatskiy will continue to receive home health care and intravenous antibiotics through July 2014, according to the suit.

The three-count suit alleges strict product liability by the defendants for their “manufacture and sale of an unsafe and defective food product,” negligence and breach of warranty and seeks at least $150,000 in damages.

Hot Mama’s Foods could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. A spokesman for Trader Joe’s declined to comment.

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