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Lawsuit Filed On Westminster Farm Over Apple Cider

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WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) ―A food poisoning lawsuit has been filed against a well-known Westminster orchard. It comes on the heels of a major apple cider recall earlier this month.

Gigi Barnett has more about the lawsuit and why the farm says it’s just learning about it.

Earlier this month, Baugher’s Farm in Westminster recalled its unpasteurized apple cider. This after seven people drank it and became sick possibly with e-coli. Three of them were rushed to the hospital.

Now one of the victims has filed suit.

“Most people do not appreciate the severity of this kind of bacterial infection,” said Bruce Clark on the phone. “Even in a quote ‘mild case,’ it is exquisitely painful.”

Clark is a Seattle-based attorney who represents 21-year-old Nicholas Fickel.

Fickel visited Baugher’s Farm last month and sampled the unpasteurized apple cider. He also bought a gallon of it.

Four days later, Clark says Fickel’s doctors told him he was poisoned with e-coli.Clark filed the lawsuit yesterday, and Fickel is still reeling from the illness.

“I think he is wary now of probably consuming any unpasteurized juice,” Clark said. “Unfortunately, if you make, it is impossible to eliminate the risk.”

“We haven’t been served with any paperwork,” said Cheryl Vural of Baugher’s Farm. “So there has been no communication at all.”

Vural runs the farm’s market. She says they’ve just learned about the lawsuit Thursday by reading and listening to media reports.

Health workers aren’t finished testing the left-over apple cider for e-coli.

“There has been no confirmation that there have been e-coli in this apple cider,” Vural said.

Until then, “there is really nothing to be done from our side,” Vural said.

Baugher’s apple cider recall still stands. The farm says any customer who may have bought it, should dump it out.

No other Baugher’s products were affected by the recall.

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