LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A Burbank man has sued Costco, claiming he got hepatitis A from frozen berries that have been linked to illnesses in eight states.

Greg Patterson’s lawsuit is at least the fifth filed in California against the store chain and Oregon-based Townsend Farms.

His attorney, Ron Simon, says Patterson contends he developed symptoms in May, lost 20 pounds, missed a month of work and is still receiving medical treatment.

Federal authorities say the Townsend Farms organic berry blend sold at Costco has been linked to more than 100 hepatitis A cases. No deaths have been reported.

Townsend recalled the mix. Costco pulled it from shelves last month and offered vaccinations to about 240,000 customers who bought it.

Patterson spoke to CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen Thursday and discussed his physical ordeal.

“I’ve been like dead. I don’t do anything,” says Patterson, a lighting and film camera man by trade.

He recounted how the disease manifested.

“Your liver really swells up. It’s hard to breathe. You can’t eat. You can’t drink any water. I was really dehydrated,” says Patterson, “My blood pressure was way down.”

Patterson remembers eating the berries. He got a call from the LA County Department of Health asking him if he had consumed any of the berries.

“I try to get organic everything.  Berries or vegetables, like we all do.  You gotta eat healthy,” says Patterson.

He also told Nguyen it was the first time he ever tried the company’s product.

Attempts to reach Costco for a comment about the suit were unsuccessful.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply