Can I Sue a Winery for Salmonella in Food?

Windmill Winery in Florence, Arizona, exceeded its legally allowable level of food preparation and used a non-permitted caterer for a wedding and one other  event last month, resulting in an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning. The latest update on the outbreak from the Pinal County Public Health Services District indicates that 38 people were sickened and at least four were hospitalized. A young child was among those who required hospital care.

Lawyer for Windmill Winery Salmonella OutbreakFoodborne illness lawyer Fred Pritzker says the Windmill Winery's health code  violations -- which prompted the county to suspend food operations at the winery -- will be considered aggravating factors in any Windmill Winery Salmonella lawsuit that results from the outbreak.  "We are talking about unsanctioned food practices of a pretty significant scale,'' Pritzker said. "It's eggregious that there was such disregard for food safety. People who trusted the winery paid the price.''

The outbreak was announced by Pinal County health authorities on April 3, followed by subsequent disclosures that Salmonella poisoning occurred during a private wedding on March 19 and an unrelated event the day before. The county temporarily suspended the food establishment permit of the Windmill Winery in Florence, then reinstated it under special conditions.

“All are serious violations of the Pinal County Environmental Health Code and Arizona state statute,” said PHPSD Director Tom Schryer. The county said it is working with Arizona state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pinpoint the cause of the outbreak. But Pritzker said an exact cause is not required for victims to proceed with claims for compensation or courtroom litigation.

A report in Food Poisoning Bulletin said the caterer hired by the winery is known as Kiss the Chef Catering.

Texas Hospital Listeria Cases Linked to Outbreak Involving Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell Ice Cream's third recall for Listeria monocytogenes has come amid news from the federal government that a second cluster of listeriosis has been discovered in Texas and linked to the ice cream maker. First it was five hospital patients in Wichita who were identified as victims of the deadly outbreak. Now three hospital patients in Texas have been identified as sickened from the same strain of Listeria bacteria isolated from 3 ounce food service chocolate ice cream cups made by Blue Bell in Oklahoma. The Texas Listeria patients endured their illnesses between 2011 and 2014, authorities said.

Ice Cream Listeria lawsuit class actionThe announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raises serious questions about whether Blue Bell ever tested for Listeria in its plants to protect customers, said Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker, a national food safety attorney who currently represents outbreak victims in Listeria lawsuits filed in New Mexico and Minnesota. "Did they know about this?'' Pritzker asked. "If not. Why not?"

State inspection of the Blue Bell plant in Oklahoma recently found the pathogen in samples of Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream pints, prompting the company to make its third successive recall for Listeria contamination. FDA collected the samples as part of a joint inspection with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The comprehensive list of Blue Bell Ice Cream Listeria recalls is located on the FDA's electronic bulletin board

 

 More findings could be published soon. The CDC is considering whether another cluster of Listeria case patients was possibly sickened from contaminated Blue Bell ice cream. Three more patients who were sickened with listeriosis from 2010 through 2012 have PFGE patterns similar to others identified in the outbreaks, the agency said. The Wichita case patients were sickened while at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, where three of five of them died. Officials have not identified the hospital in Texas where the second cluster was located..

Six More Listeriosis Patients Match to Strain Found in Blue Bell Ice Cream

 Six more listeriosis patients have been matched to a rare strain of Listeria monocytogenes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration found in Blue Bell ice cream. The announcement was made Friday in relation to the previously alerted Blue Bell Listeria outbreak among patients at a Wichita hospital. It also warns consumers not to eat Blue Bell ice cream made at the company's manufacturing facility in Oklahoma.

Attorney for Blue Bell Listeria Lawsuit"CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products made at the company’s Oklahoma facility,'' the agency said  The consumer recall is guided by coding printed on the bottom of the ice cream packages. If the codes end in one of six letters, throw it out. The letters are “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S,” and “T.”

Foodborne illness attorney Fred Pritzker currently represents a number of Listeria food poisoning victims. Fred, is advising families with loved ones sickened in the Blue Bell outbreak to consider legal action to achieve a comprehensive claim. Listeria in ice cream and other food is preventable. Holding hospitals and food companies accountable for food poisoning outbreaks is about more than money. A Listeria lawsuit exposes wrongdoing and establishes meaningful consequences that can lead to changes in the food industry, Pritzker said.

Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, is where five patients contracted listeriosis after consuming milkshakes made from Blue Bell "scoops'' ice cream. Three of those individuals died. They were in the hospital for unrelated illnesses and their conditions were significantly worsened by consumption of the pathogen formally known as Listeria monocytogenes. The new information identifies six additional people who fell ill with listeriosis from 2010-2014.. According to the CDC, Listeria germs isolated from those patients were indistinguishable in their molecular coding from the Listeria isolated from Blue Bell brand 3 oz. institutional/food service chocolate ice cream cups made in Oklahoma. "Investigation to determine whether these illnesses are related to exposure to Blue Bell products is ongoing,'' the federal agency said.

Minnesota Listeria Lawyer Sues Cub Foods Over Listeriosis From Caramel Apples

Minnesota's first caramel apple Listeria lawsuit has been filed in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis on behalf of a Cottage Grove area man who was hospitalized for two months while battling an infection that nearly killed him. PritzkerOlsen Attorneys is representing the listeriosis victim, Robert Spear, and his family in the legal action against apple supplier Bidart Brothers Inc. and Supervalu Inc., the parent company of Cub Foods. The Spear family bought their caramel apples for the Halloween season last year at Cub Foods off Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove.

New Mexico Listeriosis

Minnesota Listeria lawyer Brendan Flaherty recently was interviewed about this lawsuit by Fox 9 News reporter Paul Blume. Mr. Spear's daughter, Joan Klossner, said her dad suffered horrible pain in procedures at the hospital to clear the Listeria infection from his artificial hip, where it had settled. In addition, his listeriosis led to acute kidney failure, surgery and treatment in the hospital's intensive care unit, according to the complaint. Joan Klossner said she had serious doubts that her father would survive the ordeal.

Minnesota's First Caramel Apple Listeria LawsuitAttorney Flaherty released a statement on the Minnesota Listeria lawsuit (Spear v. Bidart Bros. Inc, Supervalu Inc, Cub Foods, Case No. 27-CV-15-4555):  “The family deserves some answers. When food companies cut corners or don’t follow safety rules, people die and lives are changed. It’s that simple. By holding them responsible, we will prevent this from ever happening again.''

Mr. Spear, 77, is the third client of PritzkerOlsen to be represented in a Listeria lawsuit connected to the outbreak that sickened 35 people in 12 states. Seven case patients died, including a Minnesota case patient whose family also has retained our law firm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has associated the illnesses with pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples made from fruit supplied by Bidart Brothers. The first lawsuit against Bidart was filed by PritzkerOlsen on behalf of a New Mexico woman and her baby. The California-based company was linked to the outbreak via molecular fingerprinting of Listeria organisms found in Bidart's apples, case patients and the company's packing facility. 

According to the latest lawsuit, Mr. Spear began to feel ill in late October after consuming several prepackaged caramel apples from Cub. He was dizzy, nauseous, feverish and severely fatigued. He also had pain in his right hip, which had been replaced in 1998. By November 3, 2014, he was in such pain he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Fluid from his hip was cultured and he was diagnosed with listeriosis. 

Kansas Hospital Listeria Deaths Traced to Blue Bell Ice Cream Scoops

Blue Bell brand ice cream products are the likely source of a Listeria outbreak among patients at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, according to reports by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak lingered for more than a year before it was detected. Three Kansans who were patients at the hospital died after contracting listeriosis and two others were sickened, the authorities said.

Kansas Blue Bell Ice Cream LawsuitThe Bad Bug Law Team at PritzkerOlsen Attorneys has launched its own investigation into the outbreak and is accepting cases from families and survivors of the outbreak. A free consultation is available now. Our own Brendan Flaherty represented a woman in her late 60s from the Wichita area who was hospitalized at Via Christi with listeriosis from contaminated cantaloupe. The patient developed Listeria meningitis, a severe and invasive form of the disease that can be fatal or lead to permanent disability.

This outbreak comes with an important consumer advisory to help stop the outbreak: Do Not Eat Blue Bell Ice Cream Scoops, a single serve product, or any of the following ice cream products and novelties that were produced on the same manufacturing line in Brenham, Texas. Those items are Chocolate Chip Country Cookie, Great Divide Bar, Sour Pop Green Apple Bar, Cotton Candy Bar, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bar, No Sugar Added Mooo Bar (regular Mooo Bars are not included). Blue Bell Creameries has withdrawn the products from the marketplace and shut down the production line where they were made. 

The first of the listeriosis victims at Via Christi Hospital fell ill in January 2014 and the cluster of five case patients was discovered earlier this month when officials noticed that two people infected by the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes had been in the same hospital. Listeriosis and other food poisoning diseases are monitored by a computer system at CDC that relies on a national reporting system.

For purposes of a Blue Bell Kansas Listeria lawsuit, evidence is being derived from the work of infectious disease experts in South Carolina who detected Listeria in two Blue Bell products at a distribution center. Next, the Texas Department of State Health Services obtained samples of the same products from the Blue Bell plant in Brenham. Those products also tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, state and federal officials said.

More evidence supporting litigation by families of the Via Christi patients stems from genetic fingerprint analysis of the Listeria strains found in the ice cream samples and patients. Three strains isolated from the ice cream matched the Listeria that infected four patients. Further lab work is continuing. PritzkerOlsen is one of the very few law firms in the country practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation. To discuss your legal rights with an attorney at the firm, call 1-888-377-8900.  

 

Joining Others Who Have Filed Suit in the Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Joining others who have sued firms responsible for the deadly Listeria caramel apple outbreak starts with contacting an individual food poisoning lawyer about your case. A Listeria caramel apple class action isn't always the route to take in modern court cases, but it is one method that has advantages in certain situations. Being represented by a law firm that has other caramel apple Listeria clients connects you with a litigation team that is already immersed in the details of the case and can swiftly decide the best approach to making a claim.

Listeria Caramel Apple Class Action LawsuitA Listeria lawsuit against Bidart Bros. apples in U.S. District Court in New Mexico was filed by local counsel on behalf of our food poisoning Bad Bug Law Team and client Cathy Jones. Cathy was pregnant when she consumed a contaminated caramel apple purchased from a Smith's Food and Drug store in Albuquerque. She contracted listeriosis and was admitted to Lovelace Hospital with painful symptoms. The disease caused her to give birth prematurely, and her baby also was infected with the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Cathy recovered under the hospital's care while her baby spent four weeks in neo-natal intensive care, finally recovering. 

Cathy's legal case is now in the hands of food attorneys who have collected millions of dollars for other Listeria food poisoning victims. She and others from the caramel apple Listeria outbreak contacted the Pritzker firm because of its long history of successful foodborne illness litigation and dealings with complex cases against large corporations.  Food poisoning is both dangerous and preventable and the outbreak linked to commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples sickened 35 people in 12 states, including several victims who died from their course of listeriosis. Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, California, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and Washington have all been touched by this outbreak, mostly in October, November and December of last year.

If you or a loved one was sickened in this outbreak and wish to join others who were similarly unfortunate, contact PritzkerOlsen at 1-888-377-8900. Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are the attorneys involved in this action and they will provide you with a free case consultation and explain how the process works. You would owe us nothing until your claim is secured.

California's 2013 E. coli Outbreak Spread From Salads Sold at Trader Joe's

E. coli O157:H7 lawsuit cases filed against Trader Joe's and Glass Onion Catering support consumers who were harmed in a food poisoning outbreak that was concentrated in California, but also spread to three other states. If you or a loved one were sickened after eating one of two types of ready-to-eat salads in October 2013, it is not too late to pursue an injury claim. Infections from E. coli O157:H7 can range in severity, even to the point of causing death. But even if your case was not life threatening, you could still receive substantial compensation from the companies responsible for this outbreak.

Lawyer for Trader Joe's E. coliThe Bad Bug Law Team at PritzkerOlsen Attorneys investigated details of the Trader Joe's salad E. coli outbreak that sickened 28 people in California, including 7 who were hospitalized. A review of the potential food safety lapses pointed to a lettuce farm in California that grew the only common ingredient in the salads. As noted by the Food and Drug Administration in a follow-up report less than a year ago, "the traceback indicates that romaine lettuce from the farm in California was a likely vehicle for the outbreak.''

Testing found isolates of E. coli O157:H7 in the field. And even though the samples did not match the outbreak strain of the pathogen, the FDA and California Department of Public Health observed two cattle operations located near the harvest fields. Cattle are a prime reservoir for toxic E. coli and the organisms are expelled in feces. Wind, rain, farm equipment or irrigation water could move the bugs into contact with the lettuce, where they could multiply.

Glass Onion Catering belongs to Atherstone Foods Inc. of Richmond, California. FDA informed the firm of the risks associated with harvesting ready to eat foods such as lettuce from a field in close proximity to cattle operations. The company's food recalls in November 2013 included the two Trader Joe's salads suspected in the outbreak:  Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken. 

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.