Another lawsuit filed over recalled peanut butter from Jif factory in Lexington

Charles Bertram

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed against the J.M. Smucker Company in Lexington, the company which manufactures the recently-recalled Jif peanut butter products, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.

An Illinois woman, Tyneisha Ferguson, is the most recent to file against the Ohio-based corporation, after she purchased and consumed Jif peanut butter and became ill. She is filing individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, court documents state.

J.M. Smucker Co. initially voluntarily recalled 40 products containing Jif peanut butter on May 20 in response to reports of salmonella cases that are potentially connected.

On May 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an expanded recall on Jif peanut butter products that came from the Lexington facility.

According to court documents, other products incorporating the contaminated peanut butter are also subject to recalls, such as products sold by Fudgeamentals, Del Monte, Albertsons Companies, Coblentz Chocolate Company, Mary’s Harvest fresh Foods Inc., Garden Cut, LLC, TAHER, INC., Country Fresh, Cargill, and Wawa.

Ferguson has accused J.M. Smucker Co. of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, negligence, strict product liability, breach of implied warranty and merchantability, and unjust enrichment.

As of Thursday afternoon, J.M. Smucker Co. had not issued a response to the lawsuit.

Ferguson alleged in her lawsuit that the J.M. Smucker Co. caused her and others to suffer out-of-pocket costs for products that were “worthless and harmful,” and also caused those affected to spend time and money addressing “symptoms and consequences of ingesting contaminated products.”

The lawsuit also stated that Ferguson and others suffered “personal injuries, emotional distress and annoyance.”

Court documents state that as of May 25, the CDC had reported 16 cases of salmonella connected to Jif — 100% of the people who were interviewed reported eating peanut butter prior to becoming ill. According to court records, 90% of those interviewed reported which brand peanut butter and all of them identified Jif.

“As a result, ‘Epidemiological evidence indicates that Jif brand peanut butter produced the strain causing illnesses’ in the outbreak,” the lawsuit states.

Ferguson is seeking $50,000 in relief for damages. In addition, Ferguson also wants equitable relief, including restitution. She wants the court to order J.M. Smucker Co. to forfeit money made off the harmful products, imposing a constructive trust in favor of the plaintiff and class/subclass members.

Ferguson also alleges that the J.M. Smucker Co. has engaged in unlawful and deceptive practices and wants a court to order the company to stop. She’s asked in her lawsuit for the company to implement and maintain adequate manufacturing procedures, final product testing procedures, and ingredient sourcing and inspection practices to ensure its products are safe.

Ferguson is also seeking to be awarded money for attorney fees and costs.

This is the second lawsuit to be filed against J.M. Smuckers in federal court. South Carolina man John Kraljevich was the first individual to pursue the lawsuit “on behalf of all persons who have purchased Jif peanut butter products” between February and May 2022.

Jif also has not filed a legal reply in that case.

Jif customer files class-action lawsuit in Kentucky after peanut butter recall