Killer Meatloaf? Lawsuit Claims Couple Died After Tainted Bob Evans Meal

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CNN – The children of an elderly West Virginia couple who passed away months apart in late 2012 and early 2013 are blaming their deaths on a restaurant chain’s meatloaf.

Mark and Ann Starcher say a tainted meal that their parents shared from a local Bob Evans restaurant in October 2012 made them so “violently ill” that it ultimately led to their deaths, according to a lawsuit they’ve filed against the Ohio-based chain.

According to the complaint, about nine hours after consuming a meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli and a roll, Virginia Starcher– who went by “Ginny” — “fell violently ill” shortly before Harold Starcher “also became violently ill but was able to call 911 for ambulance transport for both.”

Both were told by emergency room staff that they had “suffered from food poising from consuming the tainted meal from Bob Evans.”

The next day, the children allege that their dad — who went by the nickname “Punk,” — “suffered a stroke after becoming violently ill from consuming the tainted meal from Bob Evans,” resulting in both parents being moved into a rehabilitation facility.

Neither would return home.

About two months later, Ginny, who served in the West Virginia Legislature in the 1980s, died in hospice care. Punk — who was healthy, active and still operating his business at the time of the Bob Evans meal, according to the suit — deteriorated rapidly thereafter. The next few months of his life would be spent in an intensive care unit before he, too, passed away.

Mark and Ann Starcher want $250,000 for medical expenses from Bob Evans Restaurants, as well as an unspecified amount for the “pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and the loss of ability to enjoy life,” that was caused by their parents’ deaths.

A spokesman for the restaurant chain, which has 600 locations in 19 states, said that while it’s the company’s policy not to comment on pending litigation, “we believe this is an appropriate and important exception to the rule.”

“Bob Evans is committed to serving the safest, highest-quality foods for our guests — that is our responsibility and our priority,” said Scott Taggart, who added that the company “sympathize(s) with this family for the loss of their loved ones.” However, Taggart said that the company had done “a thorough review of the alleged claims in this matter, and quite simply, there is no basis to the allegations contained in the complaint and the suit is entirely without merit.”

The case will be heard in federal court in West Virginia early next year.

3 comments

  • Fibromyalgia Girl 69 Disability

    So of all the thousands of people who ate from this same batch of food, only these two got sick. I doubt it. This sounds like simple anger and blame. The kids want $$$$$$$ and want to blame someone. The stroke had noting to do with the meat loaf. I feel sorry for this family, but I simply can’t blame the restaurant. Food poisoning is fast and you either die, or quickly get over it. They likely got sick from drinking from a nasty drink pitcher in their own house, or something like that. If others had gotten sick from the same food chain, then maybe, but dying months later, I don’t think so. I’m surprised any lawyer took the case.

    • subman

      You really need to research the subject before you make sweeping statements. I had Salmonella in the 2011 outbreak, was the only one in the town where I live, and it took several days before I ended up in the ICU. Some people are more vulnerable to bacteria than others. Go ahead and say I am a liar. It will not change the medical facts.

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