The Listeria attorneys at Marler Clark, the nation’s foremost law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness and Dallas-based law firm Reyes Brown Reilley have filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a Dallas woman who died from a Listeria illness. This is the eighth lawsuit [1] filed by Marler Clark in a multi-state Listeria outbreak linked to Rocky Ford cantaloupe. The defendants in the lawsuit are Colorado-based cantaloupe producer Jensen Farms and Edinburg Texas-based distributor Frontera Produce.

According to complaint #DC11-13866 filed in Dallas County District Court, 89-year-old Marie Jones regularly purchased and consumed cantaloupe in the weeks prior to her illness. By the weekend of Sept. 10, Ms. Jones developed signs of a Listeria infection, including a severe headache and gastrointestinal symptoms, which worsened over the ensuing days. Late on Sept. 12, she was admitted to Baylor University Medical Center and transferred to the intensive care unit where it was determined that her illness was caused by a Listeria infection and was affecting her entire body. Over the next ten days Ms. Jones’ condition worsened until she ultimately succumbed to her illness on Sept. 23. The complaint further states that the Dallas County Health Department confirmed the strain that caused Ms. Jones’ Listeria illness was the same as the one implicated in the multi-state Listeria outbreak linked to the defendants’ products.

“In this day and age, people should not be hospitalized or die because of something they ate,” said Marler Clark Listeria lawyer William Marler. “Food producers and distributors have a responsibility to consumers to sell food that is unadulterated and free of foodborne pathogens such as Listeria – no exceptions.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed 133 illnesses and 28 deaths in a multi-state Listeria outbreak that has been linked to Colorado-based Jensen Farms. In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used trace back investigations to link the farm to the outbreak, and on October 19 the connection was confirmed when the FDA released a report detailing unsanitary conditions and traces of Listeria at Jensen Farms’ cantaloupe packing facility.

[1] Colorado El Paso County District Court # 2011CV5007; Colorado Arapahoe County District Court # 2011CV1891; Texas Brazoria County District Court #65009; Canadian County District Court #CJ-2011-709; U.S. District Court Maryland #1:11-CV-2810; Federal District Court Oklahoma #11-348SPS; Missouri District Court #4:11-cv-04280-FJG.