Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak - Marler Clark Litigation in Colorado


Adams County District Court

Lopez v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs and Walmart Stores

In a lawsuit filed by Manuel and Emma Lopez, the couple alleges that Mr. Lopez, who was 71 years old, purchased and consumed several cantaloupes from the Commerce City, Colorado Walmart store in August, 2011 and fell ill with a Listeria infection on September 5.

According to the complaint, Mr. Lopez was hospitalized on September 5. A blood specimen collected that day tested positive for one of five strains of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Mr. Lopez was hospitalized for four days before being discharged to a skilled nursing facility on September 9, 2011. He remained severely ill and de-conditioned, requiring frequent medical care for complications related to his Listeria infection, for a period after his initial infection and hospitalization.

Medical expenses associated with Mr. Lopez’ Listeria infection and treatment totaled nearly $100,000.

Montour v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs and Walmart Stores

Mary Montour alleges that she fell ill with a Listeria infection after eating cantaloupe purchased by her daughters at any of 5 Walmart stores located in Commerce City, Westminster or Broomfield, Colorado in August of 2011. Seventy-four-year-old Mr. Montour was hospitalized for 5 days after falling ill with symptoms of listeriosis on August 15.

During her 5-day hospitalization, a blood sample collected from Ms. Montour tested positive for one of 5 strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak. Despite receiving additional medical care, Ms. Montour suffered acute symptoms of her illness for several weeks and continues to suffer injury related to listeriosis.

The total medical cost of treating Ms. Montour’s Listeria infection exceeded $40,000.

The Estate of Michael Nimrod v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs, King Soopers and Walmart Stores

The family of 66-year-old Michael Nimrod filed a lawsuit alleging that a Jensen Farms cantaloupe purchased from King Soopers or Walmart was the source of his Listeria infection in September of 2011. According to the complaint, a blood specimen collected on September 21, 2011 tested positive for one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms outbreak.

Despite medical treatment, Mr. Nimrod died on September 27, 2011 due to his Listeria infection. Medical bills associated with his treatment reached over $60,000.

Arapahoe County District Court

The Estate of Sandra Antle v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

Robert Antle filed a lawsuit alleging that his wife, Sandra, purchased and consumed cantaloupe from the Littleton, Colorado King Soopers location on several occasions in August of 2011. Ms. Antle, who was 75 years old, fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection on September 8 and was hospitalized on September 9; her condition quickly deteriorated and she passed away on September 18, 2011.

According to laboratory testing conducted at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Listeria bacteria isolated from Ms. Antle’s blood specimen was a genetic match to a strain of Listeria isolated from Jensen Farms cantaloupe.

The cost of treating Ms. Antle’s illness exceeded $205,000.

Baldwin v. Frontera Produce, Freshpak Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

Benjamin Baldwin alleges that he purchased and consumed cantaloupe purchased from the Aurora, Colorado King Soopers store multiple times in August and September of 2011. Mr. Baldwin, who was 64 years old, experienced extreme fatigue for two weeks before seeking care at the ER on September 22, 2011. He was sent home but returned later that same day and was admitted to the hospital.

A blood specimen submitted on September 23, 2011 cultured positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that was a genetic match to one of the strains associated with illness in the outbreak traced to Jensen Farms cantaloupes.

Mr. Baldwin survived his Listeria infection, but suffered severe and permanent injuries as a result of eating cantaloupe grown by Jensen Farms. His medical expenses totaled nearly $630,000.

The Estate of Herbert Stevens v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

A lawsuit filed by the family of Herbert Stevens alleges that he consumed a pre-cut half-cantaloupe from a King Sooper’s store in Littleton, Colorado on August 6, 2011. He fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection on August 24 and was transported to the hospital via ambulance.

Mr. Stevens, who was 84 years old, was hospitalized multiple times between his initial admission date in August and October 21, 2011. During his first hospitalization a blood sample tested positive for one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Although he did return home, Mr. Stevens never fully recovered from his Listeria infection. He died in July of 2013.

Medical expenses associated with the treatment of Mr. Stevens’ illness exceeded $140,000.

Denver County District Court

Margolin v. Frontera Produce and Primus Labs

Isaak Margolin alleges that he fell ill with a Listeria infection in August of 2011 after eating contaminated Jensen Farms cantaloupes he had purchased at the M&I International Market in Denver. Mr. Margolin, who was 96 years old at the time of his illness, first fell ill on August 29, and sought medical treatment at the emergency room on August 31.

Mr. Margolin was hospitalized on September 2, 2011 and released to a convalescent care center on September 8. He remained there until September 27, when he was released home despite continuing to experience medical complications related to his Listeria infection.

A blood specimen submitted at the emergency room tested positive for a strain Listeria monocytogenes that was associated with the Jensen Farms outbreak. In addition, samples from cut cantaloupes in Mr. Margolin’s refrigerator tested positive for 2 different strains of Listeria that were associated with the Jensen Farms outbreak.

Medical bills associated with the treatment of Mr. Margolin’s listeriosis totaled nearly $35,000.

Starr v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Federal Fruit & Produce, Primus Labs, King Soopers and Walmart Stores

Kathryn Starr, a Virginia resident, alleges that while on a trip to Colorado in August of 2011, she consumed contaminated cantaloupe that had been purchased by her sister at a King Soopers or Walmart Supercenter located in Brighton, Colorado, or another area Walmart store. The cantaloupe that she consumed had been grown by Jensen Farms.

Ms. Starr fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection several days before returning home to Virginia; however, she was able to travel home before being hospitalized for 15 days. While she was hospitalized, a sample of cerebro spinal fluid taken from Ms. Starr tested positive for one of five strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms Listeria outbreak. Ms. Starr was released from the hospital to a care facility, where she stayed from mid-September, 2011 till mid-November, 2011. Despite being released from the care facility, Ms. Starr has required additional medical care, and continues to suffer from the effects of her listeriosis illness.

Ms. Starr was forced to retire from her position as an optometrist due to her Listeria infection.

Douglas County District Court

The Estate of Sharon Jones v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs, Freshpack Produce, King Soopers and Walmart Stores

According to a complaint filed by the family of Sharon Jones, 62-year-old Ms. Jones purchased and consumed cantaloupes grown by Jensen Farms and sold by King Soopers and Walmart in August and September of 2011. She fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection, including nausea, vomiting and decreased levels of consciousness, on September 14 and was hospitalized.

Ms. Jones remained hospitalized through September 22, when she was transferred to a life care center to continue her recovery. She remained hospitalized at the life care center until October 13, 2011, when she was discharged home.

Mrs. Jones died on January 29, 2012 as a result of her inability to recover from her Listeria infection.

A blood sample tested during Ms. Jones’ first hospitalization tested positive for Listeria. Her family alleges that Ms. Jones died as a result of the Listeria infection she contracted through the consumption of Jensen Farms cantaloupe.

Ms. Jones’ medical treatment totaled over $150,000.

El Paso County District Court

Richard and Carol Benell v Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

Richard and Carol Benell filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr. Benell, who was 76 years old, purchased Listeria-contaminated Jensen Farms cantaloupe at a King Soopers store in Colorado Springs, Colorado on at least 2 occasions in August, 2011. His illness progressed slowly throughout late August and became severe on September 6, 2011.

Mr. Benell sought medical attention and was hospitalized from September 8 to September 13. After being discharged, Mr. Benell continued to suffer symptoms of his illness, and required additional medical care. Blood specimen testing revealed that he was infected with one of the outbreak-strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with Jensen Farms cantaloupe.

Mr. Benell’s medical expenses exceeded $52,000.

The Estate of Michael Hauser v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs, Freshpack Produce and Sunflower Farmers Markets

Patricia Hauser filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband, 68-year-old Dr. Michael Hauser, died as a result of a Listeria infection he contracted through the consumption of Jensen Farms cantaloupe. Dr. Hauser was recovering from treatment for multiple myeloma, including stem cell treatments and chemotherapy, when he became gravely ill with a Listeria infection.

Patricia Hauser purchased a Jensen Farms cantaloupe at the Sunflower Farmers Market on August 17, 2011. Dr. Hauser consumed some of the cantaloupe and fell ill several weeks later—in the late evening and early morning hours of September 10 and 11, 2011. He was rushed to the emergency room, where he suffered a grand mal seizure.

Dr. Hauser was admitted to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and sepsis, with central nervous system dysfunction. A blood sample taken at the time he was admitted to the hospital tested positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes later determined to be associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe Listeria outbreak.

Despite multiple medical procedures over a months-long hospitalization, Dr. Hauser never recovered from his Listeria infection. He was discharged from the hospital on February 7, 2012 and died exactly two weeks later, on February 21, 2012.

The cost of medical treatment for Dr. Hauser’s illness exceeded $1.5 million.

Palmer v. Freshpack Produce, Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and Walmart Stores

According to a complaint filed by Tammy Palmer, her husband, 71-year-old Charles Palmer, consumed Jensen Farms cantaloupe in the days following its purchase from a Walmart store in Colorado Springs, Colorado on August 17, 2011.

Mr. Palmer fell ill with symptoms of a Listeria infection on August 30, 2011; his condition quickly worsened and by the morning of August 31 he was unresponsive. Mr. Palmer was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he remained for several weeks. While there, he tested positive for one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Mr. Palmer’s medical expenses were in excess of $220,000.

Elbert County District Court

The Estate of Michael A. Segatti v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs, King Soopers and Walmart Stores

Laurel Brown, Personal Representative for the Estate of Michael Segatti, filed a lawsuit alleging that 67-year-old Mr. Segatti consumed several cantaloupes she had purchased on multiple occasions in August and September of 2011 from the King Sooper and Walmart stores in Castle Rock and Elizabeth, Colorado, respectively.

Mr. Segatti fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection in early October, 2011 and sought medical treatment. He was hospitalized on October 14 and remained hospitalized at several different medical facilities, suffering from severe complications related to his Listeria infection, until the date of his death on April 28, 2012.

A blood sample submitted for testing returned positive for one of five strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Mr. Segatti’s medical expenses exceeded $1.3 million.

Jefferson County District Court

Harkin v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs, Freshpack Produce and King Soopers

Leslie Harkin, who worked and did her grocery shopping at a King Soopers store in Lakewood, Colorado, alleges in a lawsuit that although she did not purchase or consume cantaloupe from the store, she did purchase and consume cut watermelon from the store in August and September of 2011. She further alleges that the watermelon she consumed had been cross-contaminated with Jensen Farms cantaloupe and was the source of a Listeria infection she fell ill with beginning on September 18, 2011.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Harkin, who was 58 years old at the time, was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was treated for 5 days before being discharged to home health care. She alleges that she suffered severe and permanent injury as a result of her illness and has required additional medical care for her injuries.

While hospitalized, Ms. Harkin submitted a blood specimen that tested positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that matched one of the strains associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe Listeria outbreak.

The cost of medical treatment for Ms. Harkin’s Listeria illness totaled more than $80,000.

Shea v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

Eulene Shea alleges that she ate cantaloupe purchased from Sking Soopers locations on August 20 and August 29, 2011. She fell ill on August 30 and was diagnosed with a viral illness, but her symptoms worsened over the next few weeks.

On September 27, 2011, Ms. Shea, who was 86 years old, was admitted to Lutheran Hospital, where a fluid sample drawn on October 1 tested positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak. She was hospitalized for a month and required additional medical care after her release from the hospital on October 27, 2011.

Ms. Shea’s medical bills totaled more than $235,000.

Larimer County District Court

The Estate of James Weatherred v. King Soopers, Freshpack Produce, Frontera Produce and Primus Labs

Diana Weatherred filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband, 58-year-old James Weatherred, died as a result of a Listeria infection he contracted after eating Jensen Farms cantaloupe purchased at a King Soopers store in August of 2011.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Weatherred was recovering from chemotherapy treatments when he fell ill with symptoms of listeriosis in late August. He sought medical care and was hospitalized on August 29. While hospitalized, a blood specimen collected tested positive for one of 5 strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Mr. Weatherred returned home from the hospital after a month-long stay, but despite home healthcare and multiple follow-up appointments he was re-admitted to the hospital on November 4 and remained there through November 16. Upon discharge from his second hospital stay, Mr. Weatherred slowly improved and was able to begin chemotherapy for his multiple myeloma again; however, his treatment was delayed due to Listeria-related medical problems. This delay in treatment allowed his cancer to progress and develop resistance.

Mr. Weatherred died on December 7, 2012. His medical bills exceeded $250,000.

Mesa County District Court

The Estate of Lois Tufly v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and City Market

In a lawsuit, the family of Lois Tufly alleges that she purchased and consumed a cantaloupe from a City Market location in Fruita, Colorado in early September of 2011 and later fell ill with a Listeria infection.

91-year-old Ms. Tufly began suffering symptoms of listeriosis in mid-September and was hospitalized on September 17. Despite medical treatment, Ms. Tufly’s condition deteriorated quickly and she was transferred to a Hospice center on September 21. She steadily slipped away and was pronounced dead on September 22, 2011. Listeriosis was her cause of death.

A blood specimen submitted when Ms. Tufly was admitted to the hospital tested positive for one of five strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Ms. Tufly’s medical bills were in excess of $20,000.

Montezuma County District Court

The Estate of Hazel Jacobs v. Frontera Produce, Freshpack Produce, Primus Labs and City Market

The family of Hazel Jacobs filed a lawsuit alleging that 73-year-old Ms. Jacobs consumed a cantaloupe purchased from the City Market in Cortez, Colorado in August of 2011 and later fell ill with a Listeria infection. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Jacobs fell ill with signs of severe illness on August 20, 2011 and was treated for headache, stiffness in her shoulders and light sensitivity for several weeks before being hospitalized on October 9.

Ms. Jacobs was admitted to the intensive care unit on October 11 and was never released from the hospital. She died on October 20, 2011 due to complications related to Listeria infection. While she was hospitalized, a blood sample was collected that later tested positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that was a genetic match to one of 5 strains associated with the Jensen Farms Listeria outbreak.

The cost of Ms. Jacobs’ medical treatment totaled over $100,000.

Pueblo County District Court

The Estate of Rodney DeHerrera v Frontera Produce, Freshpak Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

The family of Rodney DeHerrera alleges in a lawsuit that 50-year-old Mr. DeHerrera ate cantaloupe he had purchased at a King Soopers store in Engelwood, Colorado on multiple occasions in August of 2011 and subsequently fell ill with a Listeria infection.

Mr. DeHerrera fell ill around the middle of October and sought treatment at an emergency room on October 23, 2011. He was admitted to the hospital, where peritoneal fluid collected tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Mr. DeHerrera did not recover from his Listeria infection and died on November 14, 2012.

Mr. DeHerrera’s medical expenses were in excess of $150,000.

The Estate of Betty Mills v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

A lawsuit filed by the family of Betty Mills alleges that 77-year-old Ms. Mills purchased and consumed Listeria-contaminated cantaloupe from a King Soopers store in Pueblo, Colorado in September of 2011 and fell ill with a Listeria infection later that month.

Ms. Mills sought medical treatment at the emergency room on September 30, 2011, and while there submitted a blood sample that tested positive for a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that was linked to the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak. She was hospitalized from September 20 until October 11, at which point she was transferred to a convalescent care center. Ms. Mills was again transferred, this time to a life care center, on November 7. She was to continue her recovery and medical care.

On February 21, 2012, Ms. Mills passed away. The immediate cause of her death was a heart attack.

Ms. Mills’ medical bills were nearly $370,000.

The Estate of Dimas Nunez v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and King Soopers

The family of Dimas C. Nunez filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr. Nunez, who was 88 years old, suffered a Listeria infection after eating Jensen Farms cantaloupe purchased in mid-August, 2011 from a King Soopers store in Pueblo, Colorado.

Mr. Nunez sought medical treatment for symptoms of Listeria infection on September 14, at which point he submitted a blood sample that tested positive for the strain of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak. He was hospitalized from September 17 to 26, 2011 and was moved to a convalescent care center, where he remained until being discharged into his son’s care on October 12.

Mr. Nunez’ wife, Dolores, was diagnosed with cancer around the time he left the care center and died after a hospitalization lasting several weeks. Mr. Nunez died on December 1, 2012, never having fully recovered from his Listeria infection.

The cost of medical treatment for Mr. Nunez’ illness was in excess of $76,000.

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