NewsCovering Florida


Family of former Tampa judge suing Publix, Smucker Co. over his death

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 16:00:13-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The family of a retired Hillsborough County Judge has filed a lawsuit against Publix and J.D Smucker Company, alleging their negligence led to his death.

Judge Robert Foster passed away on July 16, 2022. His family claims he was infected with salmonella after eating tainted Jif peanut butter.

J.D. Smucker Co. issued a voluntary recall of nearly 50 different types of peanut butter on May 20, 2022.

The family's complaint names Smucker for manufacturing the contaminated peanut butter, and Publix for selling it.

The family is being represented by Morgan & Morgan, who gave the following statement:

“It’s scary to think that something as innocuous as putting a jar of peanut butter in your cart at Publix could lead directly to someone’s tragic death, but that’s exactly what we’re alleging happened in this case. We’ve been lawyers in Florida for years, and our legal community lost a titan in Judge Foster. Simply issuing a recall, like Smucker did with this peanut butter, does not absolve food companies of their responsibility to provide safe products. We will work to hold the companies responsible for Judge Foster’s death accountable to the fullest extent of the law to ensure this never happens again.”