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Outbreak News

Texas Family Files Suit Against Cantaloupe Grower

Food Safety News

by News Desk

Sep 22, 2011

The family of an Angleton, TX woman who was hospitalized after eating Listeria-contaminated cantaloupe has sued the grower, Colorado-based Jensen Farms.

The lawsuit was filed in Brazoria County District Court Wednesday on behalf of the family by the food-safety law firm Marler Clark, which has filed two additional lawsuits in the ongoing outbreak that so far has sickened at least 55 people nationwide. Eight people have died.

According to the complaint, Juanita Gomez ate cantaloupe purchased from a local grocery store in Angleton, TX in August. A few days later, she became ill and feverish. When her symptoms worsened, she was taken to the Angleton Danburry Medical Center's emergency room, where her temperature measured 105.6˚ F. and she became glassy-eyed and unresponsive.

Tests later confirmed that she was infected with the same strain of Listeria linked to the outbreak traced to Jensen Farms' cantaloupes.

Now back at home after her ordeal, she has been unable to eat a normal diet, lost significant weight and remains unusually fatigued.

"As everyone who is in the food industry understands, foodborne illness outbreaks are preventable," said Gomez family attorney William Marler, adding that when producers fail to perform food safety due diligent, consumers suffer.

This is the third lawsuit filed against Jensen Farms by Marler Clark, which sponsors Food Safety News. Suits have also been filed on behalf of a 71-year-old Colorado Springs man, Charles Palmer, and 84-year-old Herbert Stevens of Littleton, CO.

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