Bob Evans Meatloaf Killed Elderly Couple, Lawsuit Claims — Family Sues Over Tainted Meal

Bob Evans restaurant’s meatloaf dinner is being blamed for the deaths of an elderly couple in West Virginia. The couple reportedly ate at the chain restaurant in 2012 and passed away days after eating what their children are calling a “tainted meal.”

CNN reports that a lawsuit has been filed, with the couple’s son and daughter seeking more than $250,000 in the case of the tainted meatloaf. Virginia and Harold Starcher both dined on a take-out meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, and rolls from a Bob Evans restaurant in West Virginia back in October 2012.

Nine hours later, Virginia and Harold became “violently ill,” and were transported by ambulance to Jackson General Hospital in Ripley, West Virginia. Mark and Ann Starcher, the couple’s children, state in the lawsuit that emergency room staff confirmed that the elderly couple “suffered from food poising from consuming the tainted meal from Bob Evans.”

The West Virginia Record reports that just one day after they ate the meatloaf, Harold “suffered a stroke after becoming violently ill from consuming the tainted meal.” Harold and Virginia were both moved to a rehabilitation facility. Virginia died two months after she fell ill from the food, and Harold died a few months after his wife. The lawsuit claims that the food poisoning weakened their overall health and ultimately caused them to die.

“Up until the tainted meal, Harold Starcher was still working and operating his business, but the meal caused the rapid deterioration of both the Starchers’ health and consequential death. Bob Evans is accused of selling unsafe, unwholesome and unfit food products for consumption.”

There are approximately 600 full-service Bob Evans restaurants in the United States. Located in 19 states, many of the chain’s restaurants are located in the Midwest. Meatloaf is a standard menu item, and is described as a “special-recipe meatloaf prepared with a blend of Bob Evans sausage and Angus beef.”

CNN reports that a Bob Evans Restaurants spokesperson issued a statement about the case that calls the meatloaf lawsuit one that is “without merit.”

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“Bob Evans is committed to serving the safest, highest-quality foods for our guests… quite simply, there is no basis to the allegations contained in the complaint and the suit is entirely without merit.”

The couple’s children, Mark and Ann Starcher, are seeking $250,000 for medical expenses from Bob Evans. They are also asking for an unspecified amount for the “pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and the loss of ability to enjoy life” due to their parents’ deaths.

The case of the Bob Evans tainted meatloaf is due to be heard in federal court in West Virginia in 2015.

[Images: Bob Evans Farms, LLC]