Public Health

U.S. Widower Targets Pig Farm

Attorneys for Steve Trunnell has filed a court petition seeking to discover what role a U.S.-owned pig farm played in the outbreak of swine flu that claimed his wife as the first American fatality of the epidemic, the Austin American Statesman reports today.

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The suit blames U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc. of keeping "horrifically unscientific conditions" at a pig farm the company owns near the village of La Gloria in eastern Mexico where the epidemic began in late February. "The conditions in which they allow this pig farm to operate ... would not be allowed in the United States" said Trunnell attorney Marc Rosenthal. From the Statesman:

"Medical authorities have not determined the origins of the swine flu outbreak. Rosenthal said the petition will enable the law firm to investigate the outbreak and gather evidence for a potential wrongful death lawsuit. Damages of up to $1 billion will be sought, he said."

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