Attorney Brendan Flaherty of our law firm was quoted by the New York Times yesterday:
“The challenge of the outbreak is that they kept expanding the recalls in scope and time. Now health department officials are reopening and looking at listeriosis cases that they previously never linked to specific products, and they could discover a lot more cases linked to Blue Bell,” said attorney Flaherty, who represents people who may have been sickened after eating Blue Bell products.
Health officials have reported 2 outbreaks of illness, one in Kansas and one in Texas. The CDC has also confirmed 2 additional cases, one in Arizona and one in Oklahoma. Others around the country may also have been sickened.
Kansas Listeria Outbreak
At least 5 patients at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, contracted Listeria infections (listeriosis) linked to Blue Bell Scoops, individually wrapped ice cream products. If you are a family member of one of the three patients who died, you may have a wrongful death claim. If you are one of the 2 survivors, you have a personal injury claim.
To have a claim means that there is sufficient evidence to file a lawsuit seeking compensation, which may include amounts for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, and other damages.
During the outbreak investigation, the Texas Department of State Health Services collected product samples from the Blue Bell Creameries Brenham facility. Samples from Scoops tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Samples from 2 other products also tested positive. Those products, Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich and the Great Divide Bar, which are made on the same production line as Scoops.
Earlier, as part of routine testing procedure, the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control tested samples of Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich and the Great Divide Bar and found 3 strains of Listeria monocytogenes that were genetically identical to those that had sickened patients at Via Christi in Wichita.
This is “smoking gun” evidence against Blue Bell Creameries.
To date the CDC has confirmed 3 case patients from Texas, all of whom were hospitalized for unrelated problems when they ate the suspected products, manufactured at the company’s Oklahoma facility. These cases were reported during 2011 through 2014. CDC is looking at 3 additional people who may have been sickened during 2010 through 2012.
Outbreak May Grow
Blue Bell announced a recall of all of its ice cream products in the market due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. These products were distributed nationwide. Many of them were retrieved by the company, but consumers, retailers and institutions (hospitals, schools, etc.) may still have these products in their freezers.
It is possible that others who were diagnosed with listeriosis in the past were sickened by a Blue Bell product. It is also possible that others may eat a recalled product and get sick.
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