Minnesota Listeria Lawyer Sues Firm Responsible for Caramel Apple Outbreak

Minnesota's response to a caramel apple Listeria outbreak that killed two state residents included early public alerts identifying the caramel apple brands that may have contributed to the spread of disease. No other state in the 12-state outbreak was as thorough and open with consumers about what foods to avoid in order to stay clear of the outbreak. The state had reason to be proactive because Listeria monocytogenes was confirmed in four state residents who were all hospitalized with the exact same strain of the pathogen.

Minnesota Lawsuit for Caramel Apple VictimsIn addition, a Minnesota law firm sued the company responsible for the outbreak. The caramel apple Listeria lawsuit brought by PritzkerOlsen Attorneys of Minneapolis is pending in U.S. District Court on behalf of a mother and her baby. Doctors said the baby was born prematurely because the mother contracted listeriosis from eating a contaminated caramel apple. The litigation is based on the findings of the Minnesota Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health. According to the CDC, the same strain of Listeria that made people sick was found in the apple-packing facility of Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, California. 

The Listeria apple lawsuit against Bidart Bros. was filed weeks after the company recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples on January 6. Bidart notified its customers, including makers of caramel apples, of the potential contamination. In Minnesota, the Department of Health already had said that case patients in the outbreak had purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples.

Later, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said the following brands of caramel apples were produced in Minnesota in 2014 using Bidart Brothers apples. Those Minnesota brands were Aamodt’s, Abdallah, Angeli Foods, Candy Jar, Carnival, Celebration, Circle K, Finnottes, Grandma Bev’s, Jerry’s Foods, Karamel King, Kowalski’s Markets, Kitchen Cravings, Lunds & Byerly’s, Supermom’s, and Wescott. These brands were also sold in North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. In addition to caramel, the apples may be covered with toppings such as nuts and chocolate, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said. Caramel apple Listeria illnesses also were confirmed in Wisconsin.

Listeria Deaths Distinguished Frescolina Cheese Poisoning Outbreak of 2012

 Two Listeria deaths and 18 hospitalizations marked the 2012 Frescolina Marte Ricotta Salata Cheese outbreak that lasted from March until October, when Listeria cheese recalls and an import ban brought it to a halt. As the CDC reported at the conclusion of the outbreak, nine of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy and three of those illnesses were diagnosed in babies. The other 13 ill persons ranged in age from 30 years to 87 years. Deaths were reported in Minnesota, New York, Nebraska, and California,  but it was ruled that Listeria contributed clearly to only two of the fatalities. One fetal loss also was part of this outbreak.

It's not too late for 2012 cheese listeria victims to sueLooking back on CDC records, the Frescolina outbreak was the first in a series of four multi-state Listeria outbreaks related to cheese and soft dairy products. The most recent of these outbreaks happened in the fall of 2014 when people who were sickened after eating Oasis Brands Mexican-style cheeses, including quesito casero (fresh curd). The Bad Bug Law Team at PritzkerOlsen Attorneys has investigated all of these outbreaks and is currently representing clients in Listeria lawsuits. If you or a loved one was sickened in the Frescolina Marte outbreak, it is not too late to receive a free case consultation from a Listeria lawyer on the team. If the firm agrees to take your case, you will owe us nothing until a claim is won. The Pritzker law firm is one of the very few legal groups in the country practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation.

California, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania were prominent locations in the Frescolina outbreak, which ended after Forever Cheese Inc. recalled the ricotta salata in September 2012. The Marte cheese was imported from Italy and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed the exporter of the recalled cheese, Fattorie Chiarappa S.R.L. of Conversano, Italy, on Import Alert. Meanwhile, Forever Cheese issued a market withdrawal of all cheeses they received that were produced by the Italian cheese exporter.

The illnesses in the 2012 outbreak were devastating to many families over a widespread area. Some case patients lived in Washington state while others were from Washington, D.C. PritzkerOlsen has represented food poisoning clients all over the country, recovering tens of millions of dollars for them over the course of many lawsuits and settlement negotiations. Listeria monocytogenes is a rare but highly destructive human pathogen that can grow in cheese even when the products are refrigerated. Other foods that have hosted the organism, causing U.S. outbreaks, have included sprouts, cantaloupe and commercially produced caramel apples.

New Mexico Caramel Apple Listeria Lawsuit Protects Mother and Her Baby Boy

 A New Mexico Listeria lawsuit filed on behalf of a mother and her baby boy has placed the issue of adulterated caramel apples in U.S. District Court, a jurisdiction chosen by veteran food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team.  In a complaint that seeks a financial recovery and other damage awards for the team's clients, the case places responsibility for the contaminated caramel apples on the California apple supplier and the New Mexico grocery retailer where the mother shopped.

New Mexico Lawsuit for Caramel Apple Listeria Mother and BabyThis caramel apple litigation in the federal District of New Mexico is being closely watched by food safety advocates across the country, including many who believe that multi-million dollar court decisions against purveyors of contaminated food help root out harmful practices by industry. Seven people have died in the outbreak and 31 individuals have been hospitalized. Ten illnesses were pregnancy-related (occurred in a pregnant woman or newborn baby), with one illness resulting in a fetal loss.  Cathy Jones was drawn into the outbreak when she ate a caramel apple in late October that a family member had purchased from a Smith’s store at 4016 Louisiana Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque. . She fell ill with fever, chills, muscle aches and diarrhea and was admitted to Lovelace Hospital. Infected with listeriosis, she delivered her baby the next day in a birth that happened several months prematurely.

Tests on her newborn boy revealed that he, too, was infected by the deadly pathogen. What followed was an excruciating four weeks when the baby remained hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lovelace Hospital. Doctors determined that Ms. Jones' Listeria infection caused the premature birth and was passed on to the infant.

The national conversation about food poisoning certainly was heightened by the caramel apple Listeria outbreak associated with apple supplier Bidart Brothers of California. Part of the liability could be shared by the makers of various brands of caramel apples and an assortment of grocery retailers. If you or a loved one was sickened in this outbreak, the Pritzker law firm is ready to provide answers to your legal questions for no obligation and at no charge. Click here to contact us. If we agree to take your case, you would owe us nothing until it is won.

Salmonella I 4, [5],12:b Dangerous Strain Becomes More Common

Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b,  a particularly dangerous food poisoning strain, is becoming more common, heath officials say. The severe illness it causes can last for three weeks and often does not respond well to antibiotic treatment.

Although the Salmonella family includes more than 2,500 serotypes, fewer than 100 have been linked to human illness. There are two biovars of the serotype Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b. The first is Paratyphi B, which is associated with  severe, typhoid fever-like disease. Symptoms of paratyphoid fever include fatigue, headache, fever, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, rose colored spots on the skin, and weight loss. The other  is Serotype Paratyphi B var. L(+)tartrate+, also known as Java, which causes food poisoning with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

These bacteria cause illness when food is contaminated with animal or human waste. It can take up to two weeks after contaminated food is eaten for symptoms to develop. After they do, the infections can cause dehydration and other complications that require hospitalization. 
If you or a family member have been been sickened by food contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b and you would like to talk with a lawyer about your legal options, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, contact PritzkerOlsen, a national food safety law firm. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.

Zerebko Zoo Tran E. coli HUS Investigation Unveiled Classic Petting Zoo Outbreak

Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologists followed the trail of a traveling petting zoo in 2014, solving an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that sickened more than 13 people across the state, including two individuals who suffered kidney failure as part of a life-threatening complication known as E. coli HUS

Minnesota Petting Zoo LawsuitZerebko Zoo Tran, an animal exhibit based in Minnesota, presented at four events in July 2014, starting with the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival. The next stop was the Polk County Fair, followed by the Rice County Fair in Faribault for five days in the middle of the month. The Olmsted County Fair was the last stop before Zerebko Zoo Tran's owner agreed voluntarily to withhold his animals from the last two county fairs at which he was scheduled to exhibit in August, the health department said in a press release. The report said 13 people were confirmed as infected by the exact same strain of E. coli O157:H7. 

Zerebko Zoo Tran lawsuit evidence includes environmental and fecal samples collected from Zerebko Zoo Tran that yielded the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The testing compared the DNA fingerprint of E. coli found at Zerebko Zoo Tran to the strains of E. coli O157:H7 found in case patients. If you or a loved one was sickened in this outbreak, contact an E. coli lawyer at PritzkerOlsen Attorneys. Our law firm represents E. coli victims and has been investigating the cause of this outbreak. Case consultations are free and you owe us nothing until your case is won. If you prefer to call, our toll-free line is 1-888-377-8900.

People typically become ill at petting zoo and livestock exhibits by getting bacteria on their hands after touching the animals or contaminated surfaces, and then swallowing the germs while eating, drinking or during other hand-to-mouth activities. Contamination can be present on the fur or in the saliva of animals, in the soil where these animals are kept, or on surfaces such as fence railings of animal pens. Because of this known risk, the National Association of State Public Veterinarians publishes safety standards for operators to prevent outbreaks. How closely the standards were followed by Zerbeko Zoo Tran is part of the legal consideration of this outbreak.

Tennessee Listeria Death Traced to Cheese Outbreak Involving Quesito Casero

The 2014 soft cheese outbreak traced to Oasis Brands Inc. was caused by Listeria organisms found in quesito casero by Virginia’s Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS). Additional investigation using genetic fingerprints from the bacteria discovered that five people were sickened by it, including someone in Tennessee who died. As noted in the final FDA report on the outbreak, all victims were of Hispanic heritage and two were from Tennessee.

Routine sampling of food by the state of Virginia first discovered the pathogen in late July in quesito casero made by Oasis Brands, a company with manufacturing facilities in Miami.  FDA subsequently inspected the operation and found Listeria monocytogenes in the plant. As a result, Oasis expanded its recall of quesito casero to include cuajada en hoja (fresh curd) and various lots of Lacteos Santa Martha products. The investigation showed that the outbreak actually began in September 2013 and reached the states of Tennessee, Texas, Georgia and New York.

Pregnant women are especially vulnerable in these outbreaks because Listeria can cross the placental barrier, and infections in late pregnancy may cause a baby to be stillborn or die shortly after birth. In this case, four of the five ill persons were hospitalized. Three illnesses were related to a pregnancy and one of these was diagnosed in a newborn. The two other illnesses occurred among adults. Again, one death was reported in Tennessee. According to the CDC, all five ill persons reported consuming Hispanic-style soft cheese in the month before becoming ill. It can take weeks and sometimes more than a month for a person to develop symptoms of listeriosis after getting exposed to the pathogen.

Even if your illness was not life threatening, you could still receive substantial compensation from the company responsible for this outbreak. PritzkerOlsen attorneys will provide you a free case consultation and we take no fee unless we win. Food poisoning clients of our law firm have collected tens of millions for victims of food poisoning outbreaks and we are currently representing a young mother and her baby in a Listeria lawsuit tied to an outbreak involving caramel apples.

Wholesome Soy Sprouts Listeria Outbreak Kills 2, Sickens 3 More

The Wholesome Soy Sprouts Listeria outbreak has ended after sickening five people in Michigan and Illinois, killing two of them. The Chicago-based company is longer producing bean sprouts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its final report on the outbreak, issued today.

State and federal health officials used whole genome sequencing ad pulsed field gel electrophoresis  to link sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy to four cases of listeriosis in Illinois and one case in Michigan. All five case patients in this outbreak were hospitalized.

During interviews, two of the surviving patients reported eating bean sprouts before they became ill. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected the Wholesome Soy Products Chicago facility twice, once in August and once in October. Both times they  found unsanitary conditions, many of which were present during both 2014 inspections.

Listeria poses a special risk for children, seniors, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems.  Among pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and newborns with listeriosis.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take up to 70 days after exposure to develop and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, headache, stiff neck and muscle aches. Treatment almost always requires hospitalization
If you were sickened after eating sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy and would like a free consultation with a Listeria lawyer click here. The attorneys at PritzkerOlsen, a national food safety law firm can answer legal questions about your questions about a lawsuit.

Durand Football Campylobacter Outbreak Traced to Wisconsin Raw Milk

The Pepin County Health Department in the scenic bluff country of western Wisconsin received a telephone call on the morning of September 22, 2014, from the school nurse at Durand High School. The nurse reported a high rate of absenteeism among football players, student managers and coaches four days after they all attended a team dinner where raw milk was served. Working with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the food safety division of the state agriculture department, the county launched a food poisoning investigation that connected the illnesses to Campylobacter in locally produced raw milk .

Durand football outbreak"The results... determined that consumption of unpasteurized milk during the Thursday team dinner was associated with the occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni infections among football team-affiliated individuals,'' state and local health officials wrote in the outbreak's final report.

A total of 38 case patients can now decide whether or not to file a Durand Camplyobacter lawsuit. That's because the pathogen investigation found a precise molecular match between the outbreak strain of Campylobacter and samples of the organism recovered from dairy cow manure on the farm that supplied the raw milk. Campylobacter found in six of the bovine samples matched the genetic fingerprint of the most common strain of the bacteria that made people sick. According to the report, 10 of the victims were hospitalized or received care in the emergency room. Symptoms included diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, muscle aches, headaches, chills, sweats and fever. The range of high temperatures spanned from 99.9 degrees to 105 degrees, with a median of 102.

Durand CampylobacterFood safety attorney Fred Pritzker said the basis of litigation in this outbreak rests with findings that the team was unaware that raw milk was part of the menu. It was mixed with chocolate syrup after store-purchased chocolate milk ran out, the report said. Wisconsin is one of the states that has legislated against the sale of raw milk because of its inherent riskiness. Unpasteurized milk -- even from the most carefully watched dairy barns -- can contain invisible, odorless bacteria that has the potential to cause fatal infection.

Raw milk is unfit for human consumption. Pritzker's own Bad Bug Law Team has filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of people sickened by raw milk, including cases where his clients have won more than $1 million in damages. If you or a loved one has been sickened in this outbreak, contact Fred or one of his partners at PritzkerOlsen for a free case consultation and discussion of your legal rights. 

My Baby Got Listeria from Caramel Apple, Can We Sue?

 Yes. Our firm recently filed a baby Listeria lawsuit on behalf of a New Mexico mother who ate a store-purchased caramel apple and fell ill with listeriosis. She was hospitalized and the infection caused the premature birth of her child by a factor of several months. Listeria had infected the baby in utero and medical specialists saved the child's life during four weeks of critical intensive care. The mother also recovered from her illness, but the two face health uncertainties and lasting harm. Our client, Cathy Jones, coped with the trauma and then contacted our attorneys to pursue claims proportionate to the harm she and her baby have endured.

Listeria Caramel Apple Evidence

Food poisoning outbreaks are preventable and there is scientific evidence in this case that Listeria contaminated the apple-packing facility of Bidart Brothers, supplier of fruit to numerous caramel apple makers who have since issued Listeria-related recalls. Molecular testing showed that the same genetic strain of Listeria monocytogenes that contaminated apple-handling surfaces at Bidart Bros. infected case patients in the outbreak. October, November and December is when hospitals in 11 states treated 32 victims, including six who died (one from causes unrelated to listeriosis.) Ten pregnancies were harmed and three children between the ages of 5 and 15 suffered invasive Listeria meningitis. 

Contact an Attorney

Not all food poisoning outbreaks are detected, much less solved by the science available to state and federal health agencies, including the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A chain of evidence established by these authorities now allows victims of the caramel apple Listeria outbreak to pursue fair compensation claims in court. If you or a loved one has been sickened in this outbreak, contact food safety lawyers Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty or Ryan Osterholm. The PritzkerOlsen law firm is one of the very few legal groups in the country practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation. We take no fee unless we win and our Listeria clients have received millions of dollars in damage claims. Case consultations are free. Call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or click here to contact a lawyer.

My Child Got Listeria Meningitis from a Caramel Apple, Can I Sue?

Yes. Health authorities have confirmed three cases of invasive, pediatric Listeria meningitis in the caramel apple Listeria outbreak and the likely cause has been traced to contaminated apples from a fruit supplier, Bidart Brothers. The children range in age from 5 to 15 and it's possible that more cases are being discovered. Two lawsuits on behalf of individual victims of the outbreak have been filed and more caramel apple Listeria lawsuits are formulating.

Caramel Apple Lawsuit

Our law firm represents victims of the caramel apple outbreak and two of our attorneys, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm, have sued apple supplier Bidart Brothers in U.S. District Court in New Mexico. Our client in the case is a mother who ate a caramel apple purchased from a store in Albuquerque in late October. She was hospitalized with listeriosis and prematurely delivered a baby that was several months early. Doctors determined the Listeria infection caused the premature birth. The baby was saved by doctors and nurses in the hospital's critical intensive care unit.  

Filing Suit

my baby has ListeriaState and federal courts in your area are open to Listeria food poisoning lawsuits on the basis that farmers, food manufacturers, distributors and retailers have a duty only to present wholesome food for purchase to the public. The commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples that you purchased and fed to your family were defective and corrupted by a rare but potentially deadly human pathogen. Listeria monocytogenes has no place in our food supply and litigation against companies responsible for outbreaks is one of the best deterrents to future outbreaks. Our law firm listens to victims and handles the business of pursuing a claim for compensation of medical expenses, loss of income, pain, suffering and loss of companionship. A good Listeria lawyer also will factor in the future expenses and losses that can be anticipated in a person's life based on medical research and experience. At PritzkerOlsen P.A., case consultations are free. If we agree to take your case, you owe us nothing until your claim is won.

 Listeria Meningitis in Children

Families of children with Listeria meningitis can become quickly immersed in critical care situations because meningitis infects a person’s central nervous system. The more common type of illness from Listeria monocytogenes — also deadly in some cases — is infection of a person’s bloodstream. Listeria meningitis is a severe consequence of food poisoning. While most people with meningitis recover, it can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities. In advanced, untreated cases, Listeria meningitis patients can fall into coma or experience seizures. It can be deadly in 15 to 30 percent of cases, but the illness can be treated effectively with timely doses of antibiotics. Babies and the elderly are the two groups most targeted by meningitis, so the spread of this disease to healthy older children is a serious health concern.

carmel apple listeriosis lawsuitListeria Meningitis Outbreak

A cluster of three pediatric cases of Listeria meningitis could classify as an outbreak all by itself, but these cases are part of a larger outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states. Six case patients have died and only one of those deaths was clearly not related to listeriosis. Ten pregnancies also have been harmed in this outbreak, including mothers and babies. The leading state is New Mexico with six case patients, but other states with multiple cases include Missouri, California, Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona and Minnesota. Bidart Bros. has responded to the outbreak with a series of alerts and recalls to its customers, capped by a general recall on Dec. 6 for all Granny Smith and Gala apples shipped from its Shafter, Calif., handling facility in 2004. Happy Apple, Karm'l Dapple, and Merb's all issued their own recalls, but the ongoing advice from CDC is for consumers not to purchase and stores not to sell any commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples. Also, do not eat apples from Bidart. For your family's protection, ask your grocer if Bidart was a source supplier in 2014.