Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak - Marler Clark Litigation in Texas


Brazoria County District Court

Gomez v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and The Kroger Company

Juanita and Caesar Gomez allege in a lawsuit that Caesar Gomez purchased cantaloupe from a Kroger store in Angleton, Texas in early August of 2011. Juanita Gomez, who was 66 years old, consumed some of the cantaloupe in the days following its purchase and was infected with Listeria monocytogenes.

The night of August 19 and into the morning of August 20, Mrs. Gomez became ill and developed a fever. Her husband rushed his unresponsive wife to the emergency room for treatment of what had become a 105.6 F fever. She was treated at the ER and discharged home.

The following day, personnel at the ER called to ask Mrs. Gomez to return to the emergency department immediately for care. Blood tests performed on samples collected during her earlier visit had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Upon her return to the ER, Mrs. Gomez was admitted to the hospital, where she remained hospitalized for 2 days.

After being discharged from the hospital, Mrs. Gomez suffered gastrointestinal illness for several weeks. She remained extremely tired and fatigued as a result of her illness. Medical bills associated with the treatment of Mrs. Gomez’ Listeria infection totaled over $13,000.

Health officials ultimately confirmed that the strain of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from Mrs. Gomez’ blood sample was a genetic match to one of five strains associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Dallas County District Court

The Estate of Marie Jones v. Frontera Produce, the Kroger Company and Primus Labs

A lawsuit filed by the family of Marie Jones alleges that 89-year-old Ms. Jones, who lived independently with her sister, fell ill with a Listeria infection after eating cantaloupe purchased from a Kroger Store in Garland, Texas.

Ms. Jones fell ill with symptoms of Listeria infection on September 9, 2011 and worsened over the next several days. She sought medical care from her primary physician on September 12, and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room late that evening, after her symptoms continued to worsen.

Ms. Jones was admitted to the hospital upon arrival at the ER and was transferred to the intensive care unit the evening of September 13. A spinal tap confirmed that she was infected with Listeria monocytogenes. Her condition continued to worsen and she died in the hospital on September 23, 2011.

Public health officials confirmed that the strain of Listeria monocytogenes that caused Ms. Jones’ illness was indistinguishable from one of five strains of the bacterium associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak. Her medical bills were in excess of $150,000.

Mages v. Frontera Produce, Primus Labs and The Kroger Company

Earline Mages alleges in a lawsuit that she consumed several cantaloupes purchased from a Kroger grocery store in Dallas, Texas in August of 2011, before falling ill with a Listeria infection.

On September 7, 2011, Ms. Mages, who was 75 years old, began experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital on September 8 and was treated for listeriosis after a blood specimen tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Ms. Mages remained hospitalized until September 16, when she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

Ms. Mages returned home on October 3, 2011, but has required substantial follow-up medical care since her discharge from her original hospitalization. Medical expenses associated with her Listeria infection totaled more than $105,000.

Williams County District Court

Burks v. Frontera Produce and Primus Labs

Will Burks alleges that he purchased and consumed a cantaloupe from a HEB grocery store in Austin, Texas in late August of 2011 and later fell ill with a Listeria infection. Mr. Burks, who was 71 years old at the time of his illness, sought medical attention on September 7, 2011 and was admitted to the intensive care unit for treatment for listeriosis, which was diagnosed through testing of his cerebrospinal fluid.

Mr. Burks was hospitalized through October 6, 2011, at which point he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for further care and rehabilitation. He was discharged home on November 21, 2011with home health care for further rehabilitation therapies.

Mr. Burks suffered severe and permanent neurological injury and other complications due to his listeriosis. He remains deconditioned from his illness and prolonged hospitalization and continues in speech and other therapies in an effort to recover as fully as possible.

The strain of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from Mr. Burks’ cerebrospinal fluid was a genetic match to one of five strains associated with the Jensen Farms cantaloupe outbreak.

Medical treatment associated with Mr. Burks’ acute illness and rehabilitation exceeds $400,000.

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