Man sues over tuna 'poisoning'

Oct. 19, 2010 at 3:21 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A New York man who says he consumed 10 cans of tuna a week for almost two years says he is suing Bumble Bee Foods for giving him mercury poisoning.

Lee Porrazzo of White Plains says he and his roommate would make regular runs to the local grocery store to load up on cans of tuna fish thinking they were eating healthy, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

"There was tuna in my diet every day, just about," Porrazzo said. "I thought it was the cleanest source of protein."

Porrazzo, 48, claims he was struck with mysterious symptoms of chest pains than sent him to the hospital "believing he was having a heart attack," a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in White Plains said.

His doctor ordered a "heavy metals" blood test in October 2008 that showed "dangerously high" mercury levels of 23 micrograms per liter, more than twice the normal amount, Porrazzo's suit says.

He's says the canned tuna was responsible and is seeking unspecified damages for breach of warranty and negligence from Bumble Bee Foods.

He's also suing the supermarket chain he bought the cans from for putting the tuna on sale, usually at $1 a can.

Health experts recommend eating no more than 5 ounces of tuna a week to avoid high mercury levels.

A Bumble Bee spokeswoman said that, to the company's knowledge, there's "never been a case of mercury toxicity from eating commercial seafood in the United States" and that "alarmism" on this issue "can have an adverse impact" on people's health.

The supermarket chain declined to comment, the Post reported.

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