Our law firm, led by attorney Fred Pritzker, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who contracted a severe Listeria infection (listeriosis) manifesting in Listeria meningitis after eating Blue Bell ice cream products.
The complaint asserts that the Plaintiff suffered a debilitating brain injury after the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria infected his blood and migrated to his brain, causing extensive damage and leaving him near death.
About the Blue Bell Outbreak
Our client is one of the people sickened in the Listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream products. To date there have been 3 deaths affiliated with this outbreak and at least 1o people developed listeriosis. Blue Bell initially recalled several products in March of 2015, then expanded the recall a few weeks later, and finally issued a total product recall and has ceased production at all three of their manufacturing facilities.
When the FDA released their 483 inspection reports of the three Blue Bell production facilities the contents were profoundly disturbing. The reports demonstrate known presence of pervasive Listeria infestation in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma facility dating back to 2013. According to reports the company sanitized the facility using the company’s standard sanitation procedures. It retested for the pathogen, and there was still Listeria. The sanitation procedures did not eradicate Listeria bacteria from the processing environment. This is exceptionally dangerous because ice cream is, obviously, a ready-to-eat product that is not recooked by the consumer (heat kills Listeria but not freezing).
Attorney Ryan Osterholm, an attorney on our Bad Bug Law Team®, explains, “The FDA’s 483 inspection reports speak for themselves—Blue Bell had serious issues with Listeria for quite some time. We look forward to finding out much more about what Blue Bell knew, when they knew it, and what actions they took to correct the Listeria problem.”
The lawsuit, filed in Western District of Texas Austin Division, alleges the following:
- As early as 2010, Blue Bell produced ice cream at its facilities infested with Listeria bacteria and beginning in 2010 Blue Bell products caused numerous listeriosis infections in several states.
- Our client consumed a variety of tainted Blue Bell products and as a result developed a severe listeriosis infection that nearly killed him
- Our client survived but continues to require intensive neurological treatment, therapy and rehabilitation from his permanent brain injury which resulted from his listeriosis infection
- Listeria is well known food safety risk, particularly in ready-to-eat food products that do not require cooking
- Blue Bell failed to implement adequate sanitization procedures to eradicate the known presence of Listeria bacteria
- As a result of Blue Bell’s manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of defective ice cream products and its negligent acts and omissions, Defendants caused Plaintiff’s listeriosis infection which resulted in profound permanent injuries.
Listeriosis is a serious illness resulting from consumption of food contaminated
with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, one of the most virulent and deadly foodborn pathogens, with a fatality rate of over twenty percent (20% ). Virtually all people who contract listeriosis require hospitalization. Those who are elderly, immuno-compromised, or pregnant are particularly vulnerable.
Though rare, Listeria monocytogenes is known to cause infections in prosthetic joints. These infections are life-threatening and often require extensive surgery.
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