You have our deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband. Our attorneys know first-hand the pain of losing a loved one form Listeria. It is unconscionable that a company would sell food contaminated with Listeria. This deadly bacteria grows in the refrigerator and, once eaten, can quickly move from the intestines to the lungs, brain and other organs.
There are 2 steps should take to protect your legal rights:
- Contact your local health department to make sure your husband’s case is being investigated.
- Contact our law firm for a free consultation with a lawyer. They have handled many, many cases like this and will help you not feel alone in a legal wilderness. You need to focus on healing, not legal issues. If you need help with step one, contacting the health department, our lawyers can help you with that.
Our lawyers have won many multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients, including $4.5 million in a recent case.
What Food Product Gave Your Husband Listeriosis?
Listeria infections are caused by food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Outbreaks of infections, called listeriosis, have been caused by apples, cantaloupe, smoked salmon, deli meat (turkey and ham), ice cream, gouda cheese, raw milk, soft cheese and a variety of frozen foods.
To help find the food product that sickened your husband, it is important that you provide as much information as possible to government health officials investigating the case. You may be interviewed regarding what your husband ate in the month prior to onset of illness. States use different questionnaires for this purpose, and some are better than others. Click here for a copy of one of the best food poisoning questionnaires. If you find questions on this form that you were not asked, write your answers down and send them to the local, state and/or federal health investigators (the FDA and CDC may be involved).
How Did the Food Get Contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes?
There are many possible scenarios for contamination.
- In one outbreak, stagnant water under “cleaning” equipment was teaming with L. monocytogenes bacteria. Cantaloupe washed with this equipment was contaminated. Almost 150 people from 28 states were sickened and 33 people died: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (4), Colorado (40), Idaho (2), Illinois (4), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (11), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (7), Montana (2), Nebraska (6), Nevada (1), New Mexico (15), New York (2), North Dakota (2), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (18), Utah (1), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (4).
- In another, the FDA found Listeria in irrigation water used for sprouts. The bacteria was also found in various locations throughout the plant. 5 people from 2 states were sickened in the outbreak: Illinois (4) and Michigan (1). Two of them died.
- Imported food can also come to this country already contaminated, as was the case with cheeses sold at stores in 13 states that sickened 22 people. The investigation determined that contaminated cheese imported from Italy spread the deadly bacteria to other cheeses that were cut with the same equipment. This is called cross-contamination. The states with ill people included the following: California (3), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (1).
The above are examples of how food gets tainted. There are many other ways, and it is important to determine the path to contamination for each outbreak.
Please contact us if you want a FREE consultation with attorney Fred Pritzker or another lawyer on our Bad Bug Law Team®. We have help many families win listeriosis wrongful death lawsuits against corporate wrongdoers. The multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts send a message that food safety should always, always come before profit.