Massachusetts Couple Sues Whole Foods, Ranch for Son’s Death

December 19, 2014

A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8-year-old son’s death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat.

Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in their suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston that the grass-fed beef they bought at the Weymouth store was contaminated with a powerful strain of E. coli. Their son, Joshua, died in July.

“This lawsuit is about bringing awareness to the issue of food safety and forcing change where it needs to be made,” Melissa Kaye told the Boston Herald.

The lawsuit said “Witnessing their child suffer for thirteen days caused Melissa and Andrew Kaye near incalculable pain, anguish, physical harm and suffering, creating searing memories that will haunt them both forever.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods issued an Aug. 15 recall of ground beef products sold in June due to possible E. coli contamination after the state Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal Food Safety and Inspection Service determined the link.

Whole Foods in a statement expressed condolences over the boy’s death and said while it cannot comment on pending litigation, “our thorough and ongoing investigation of the circumstances has not shown any clear link to our business.”

Missouri-based Rain Crow Ranch said in a statement, “It is our understanding that testing conclusively establishes that the meat we provided was not contaminated with E. coli.”

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