Listeria Poisoning Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Recalled Cantaloupe

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a Louisiana woman who died as a result of a massive 2011 listeria outbreak that was linked to recalled cantaloupes. 

The complaint was filed in the 26th District Court in Bossier Parish, Louisiana by the family of Frances Gilbert, who died on September 22, 2011 from complications of listeria food poisoning.

According to a press release issued by the family’s attorneys, Marler Clark, Gilbert became sick on September 14, 2011, after eating allegedly contaminated Rocky Ford cantaloupe from Jensen Farms. The recalled cantaloupe have been linked to at least 147 cases of listeria poisoning, including at least 33 deaths.

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Jensen Farms issued a cantaloupe recall in September 2011, after at least 15 cases of individuals diagnosed with the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes were linked to cantaloupes grown in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado. The company now faces a number of listeria lawsuits over the outbreak, which is considered one of the deadliest food poisoning outbreaks in U.S. history since 1924.

While one of the rarer forms of food poisoning, listeria is one of the more dangerous. It frequently results in hospitalization and about a quarter of those who contract the illness die from the infection.

Listeria illnesses pose a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births.

Blood tests are usually required to diagnose listeria infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of listeria poisoning include muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe headaches and fever. If the bacteria spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and nervous system, it could cause meningitis and other complications.

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