Another lawsuit has been filed in Ellis County relating to a contaminated peanut butter scare that came to light earlier this year.

The suit was filed against Conagra Foods Inc., with Tracy Lemonia alleging she bought contaminated Peter Pan brand peanut butter in Ellis County and that her child became ill.

The lawsuit alleges the peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella and was unfit for human consumption.

More than 300 cases of salmonella have been reported in 39 states since August 2006, the lawsuit reads, noting that 85 percent of the victims reported eating peanut butter.

“Defendant Conagra Foods Inc. knew or should have known their product was the source of a devastating outbreak yet did nothing to warn consumers who purchased peanut butter for their families.”

Lemonia is represented by Dallas-based law firm Gant & Hicks PLLC. The case is filed in 40th District Court and a jury trial has been requested.

In February, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Osborn of Waxahachie filed suit against Conagra, alleging the corporation’s role in the salmonella outbreak caused their two children to become ill.

The family is represented by Jenkins and Jenkins P.C., a law firm with offices in Waxahachie and Dallas.

The Osborn suit was filed Feb. 16 in 40th District Court, two days after Conagra announced a recall of its Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter.

According to the company, action was taken Feb. 14 after “the FDA announced Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter manufactured in ConAgra’s Georgia peanut butter plant is source of a salmonella outbreak among hundreds and possibly thousands of residents in 39 states.”

The recalled product was identified by batch No. 2111.

“I’m troubled by this fact scenario,” said Clay Jenkins, the family’s attorney in a press conference at the time, “that they (ConAgra Foods) admit, from August until now, we have had an outbreak of 300 reported, CDC tracked, salmonella cases, 85 percent of which can be traced back to people who ate either Great Value or Peter Pan batch 2111 peanut butter.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Salmonellosis - Outbreak Investigation, February 2007 report, 290 people across 39 states had been reported with salmonella Tennessee, the type of salmonella involved in the outbreak.

“Among 185 patients for whom clinical information is available, 44 (24 percent) were hospitalized. There have been no reports of deaths attributed to this infection. Onset dates, which are known for 171 patients, ranged from Aug. 1, 2006, to Jan. 30, 2007,” the investigation report said.

“Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection,” according to the Centers for Disease Control Web site. “The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.”

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Daily Light staff writer Anthony Trojan contributed to this report.

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