Michigan Meat Processor is Sued Over Woman’s Death - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - February 4, 1999

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 4, 1999

Allegations about unclean conditions at a western Michigan meat processor were raised in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed after the death of a woman who apparently ate tainted hot dogs. Tainted meat from the Bil Mar Food's plant in Zeeland, Mich., has killed 12 people in 16 states and sickened 79 others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bil Mar, a division of Chicago-based Sara Lee Corp., on Dec. 22 recalled 15 million pounds of hot dogs and other packaged meat products sold under several names. It said they could be tainted with listeria bacteria. On Tuesday, Chicago lawyer Kenneth Moll filed the suit - his second - saying he interviewed former Bil Mar employees who talked about unsanitary conditions at the plant and faulty cooking processes. The lawsuit accuses the company of negligence in the death of Helen Bodnar, 74, of Memphis, who died Oct. 19 of meningitis brought on by a strain of listeria.