A Texas resident has filed a petition against Smithfield Foods on behalf of his late wife, Judy Dominguez Trunnell, the first U.S. resident to die of H1N1 flu. Steven Trunnell filed the petition in his home state.
In late April, Dominguez Trunnell, who was eight months pregnant, became ill with what would be confirmed as H1N1 flu. The 33-year-old special-education teacher died on May 4.
Trunnell's petition seeks to investigate claims that the H1N1 outbreak began in Smithfield's joint-venture pork operation in La Gloria and that the virus may have been caused in part by the conditions under which the farm operates, which the petition terms "horrifically unsanitary."
Dominguez Trunnell died weeks after her baby daughter was delivered via cesarean section. "She was a fun and caring person," Trunnell tells TIME. "She didn't deserve this."
Test results released last week by the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food confirmed that the Type A H1N1 virus was not found in the Smithfield pigs. The pigs also tested negative for other viruses. The company also said that its Mexico facilities routinely administer swine influenza vaccination to their herds and conduct monthly tests for the presence of the disease.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of May 21, 5,764 cases of H1N1 influenza have been reported in the U.S. and a total of 9 deaths.
Read more about this first legal action.
For more information about the H1N1 outbreak, visit Pork's H1N1 Special Section.
Source: Yahoo News, CDC