CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A lawsuit blames a restaurant’s bad meatloaf for the deaths of a former West Virginia state lawmaker and her husband.

Former Delegate Virginia Starcher’s family filed the lawsuit last month against New Albany, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms in Jackson County Circuit Court.

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It says Starcher and her husband, Harold, ate meatloaf meals from a Bob Evans restaurant in Ripley in October 2012.

It claims that nine hours later, the two went to a hospital for food poisoning. Harold Starcher suffered a stroke that day.

Virginia Starcher, who also had pre-existing health problems, died in December 2012.

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Her husband died in May 2013 after a December open heart surgery.

Bob Evans spokeswoman Hinda Mitchell said Friday the lawsuit is without merit.

The Charleston Daily Mail first reported the lawsuit.

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