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.

Can I Sue Bidart Bros for Listeria from Caramel Apple?

 Yes, if you are a case patient in the caramel apple Listeria outbreak you can sue California-based Bidart Bros., the supplier of fruit to numerous caramel apple makers implicated in illnesses in New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Arizona, California, Washington, Nevada, North Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Health investigators suspected Bidart Bros. was involved as a source of the bacteria that started making people sick in October. Now the FDA has evidence of Listeria monocytogenes inside the company's apple production facility in Shafter, Calif.

New Mexico Listeriosis

Caramel Apple Lawsuit

Food poisoning attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm already have sued Bidart Brothers in U.S. District Court in New Mexico on behalf of a woman and her baby. Cathy Jones ate a caramel apple in the latter part of October that was purchased by a member of her family from Smith's Food and Drug Centers in Albuquerque. She contracted listeriosis and was hospitalized November 7. The next day, her baby was born months prematurely because of her infection. The baby is home now after spending a month in the critical intensive care unit at Lovelace Hospital. The new lawsuit alleges the apples that left Bidart Brothers plant were defective and unfit for human consumption. Smith's also is named in the lawsuit because it had a duty to its customers to only stock safe food on its shelves.

Bidart Bros Apple Recalls

On January 6, 2015, Bidart Bros. voluntarily recalled all 2014 Granny Smith and Gala apples handled at its apple-packing operation in Shafter, Calif. That's because environmental testing by the FDA revealed Listeria monocytogenes in the facility. Two days later, the pathogen gathered from Bidart proved to be of the exact same genetic makeup as the Listeria bacteria analyzed in the outbreak. This important link has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC said whole apples produced by Bidart Bros., collected outside the packing facility also were contaminated with the outbreak strain of Listeria.

Advice to Consumers

Consumers should not eat any recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples produced by Bidart Bros., and retailers should not sell or serve them. Consumers who are buying or have recently bought Granny Smith or Gala apples can ask their retailers if the apples came from Bidart Bros. Consumers should not eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples that were recalled or made with Bidart Bros. apples, and retailers should not sell or serve them. Happy Apples, Karm'l Dapples Merb’s caramel apples have all announced recalls of their own. Bidart Brothers was a supplier to each brand.

Caramel Apple Lawsuit vs. Bidart Brothers Centers on Premature Birth from Listeria

Our law firm has launched a caramel apple lawsuit against Bidart Brothers and a New Mexico retail store seeking compensation for a mother who was sickened by Listeria monocytogenes during pregancy. Doctors determined that the illness caused her child to be born prematurely and the baby spent a month in the critical intensive care unit of Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque fighting the Listeria infection. Our client, Cathy Jones, and her newborn baby are among dozens of people in 11 states who are victims of a major Listeria outbreak that the CDC has linked to commercially produced caramel apples. The investigation is ongoing and PritzkerOlsen's Bad Bug Law Team is continuing to accept additional cases. Call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or contact us for a free case consultation

"According to the complaint (case number 1:15-cv-00019) in U.S. District Court in New Mexico, Bidart Brothers supplied fruit for the caramel apples sold by Smith's Food and Drug Centers, including stores in Albuquerque. A member of Cathy's family purchased caramel apples from Smith's in late October and she ate one. On Nov. 7, she became dramatically ill and sought medical care. Within a day of being admitted to Lovelace Hospital, her baby was born several months premature, according to the lawsuit. Doctors determined the premature birth was caused by a Listeria infection in the mother. To this day the child is dealing with the health consequences and the lawsuit will address the future costs and consequences that medical research and professional experience predicts.

The lawsuit, forged by food safety attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm, is based on the premise that the apples were unsafe, defective and unfit for human consumption. The case is bolstered by evidence collected by FDA inspectors who found Listeria inside Bidart Brothers' apple production facilities in Shafter, California. The company issued a series of alerts, including a general recall January 6 for all Granny Smith and Gala apples shipped from the Shafter facility in 2014.

FDA and CDC officials are still sorting out how many caramel apple brands may have been poisoned and where they were sold. Recalled brands include Happy Apple, Merb's and Karm'l Dapples. The ongoing advice from the two agencies to avoid possible Listeria infection is for everyone not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially produce caramel apples.

Bidart Listeria Breakthrough Tightens Carmel Apple Lawsuit Claims

State and federal food poisoning investigators have found Listeria bacteria inside a California facility where Bidart Brothers produced fruit  used in caramel apples associated with a frightening outbreak of listeriosis. Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker said the discovery deepens the evidence against the food and grocery industry to be weighed this year in growing caramel apple litigation.

"Families and individuals who have suffered the severe consequences of this outbreak deserve this breakthrough,'' said Pritzker, who represents Listeria outbreak clients. "Science is bringing out the truth.''

Lawyer for Bidart Listeria Lawsuit

The Pritzker law team already represents a mother and her newborn baby sickened after the mother ate a packaged caramel apple tainted with Listeria monocytogenes during her pregnancy. After birth, the baby became critically ill. If you or a loved one also was sickened in this outbreak, contact Fred for a free case consultation. He will explain your legal options at no charge and if he agrees to take your case, the firm doesn't get paid until your Listeria claim is won.

Listeria Inspection at Bidart Brothers

According to a newly released document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials from the FDA and California Department of Public Health inspected the Shafter, Calif., facility of Bidart Brothers. The site visit on December 23 came the day after health investigators met Bidart Brothers to discuss scientific findings that linked Bidart's apples with an outbreak of Listeria tied to commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples.

During the joint inspection, FDA took environmental samples, swabbing surfaces likely to come into contact with apples, the CDC said.  "Several of these samples contained Listeria monocytogenes,'' the agency reported. The FDA shared the laboratory results with Bidart Bros. on January 5, 2015. One day later, Bakersfield-based Bidart sent letters to its distributors, expanding an earlier Listeria-related recall.  Now Bidart Brothers is recalling all Granny Smith and Gala apples shipped from the company’s Shafter packing facility in 2014, regardless of if they were used to make caramel apples. 

Caramel Apple Listeria Recall

Happy Apples caramel apples, Karm'l Dapples, Merb's Double Dipped and Merb's Bionic  caramel apples were all recalled in late December out of concern they poisoned people with Listeria monocytogenes. Bidart Brothers was a supplier to all of them. The outbreak started in mid-October and prevailed into December, sickening 32 people and harming 10 pregnancies, including babies. Six of the confirmed case patients have died, giving rise to a Listeria wrongful death lawsuit in California.  Only one of those deaths was explicitly not caused by listeriosis. Infections also have been invasive in three youths, ages 5 to 15. They all suffered life-threatening Listeria meningitis.

More Listeria Lawsuits Formulating in U.S. Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

 The rapidly evolving health and legal investigation into a caramel apple Listeria outbreak mostly west of the Mississippi River continues to provide new basis for the next caramel apple lawsuit on behalf of case patients in 11 states where people have been hospitalized. Our law firm has looked back to mid-October, when the first infections of Listeria monocytogenes started. A team of attorneys including Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm have been in contact with victims and continue to provide free case consultations. PritzkerOlsen has sued many companies for selling poisoned food, winning millions of dollars for clients. Two years ago, Fred's own mother died after eating cheese contaminated with Listeria.

The Lawsuit

The California Department of Public Health has confirmed the death by listeriosis of a case patient in this outbreak. That woman's family has sued the grocery chain Safeway, where she bought caramel  apples that have since been recalled for possible Listeria contamination. This is a wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Other retailers known to have handled recalled caramel apples include Walmart, Sam's Club, Cub Foods, Kwik Trip and Mike's Discount Foods.

The Recalls

Happy Apple, Karm'l Dapples, Merb's Candies Bionic Apples and Merb's Double Dipped Apples have all been recalled. The makers issued the recalls through the FDA after hearing from Bidart Brothers, an apple supplier, that there may be a connection between Bidart Brothers apples and this listeriosis outbreak.   At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged. 

Outbreak Update

Nearly all victims in this outbreak have been hospitalized and six case patients have died. One death was unrelated to Listeria. Officials are still studying how the disease contributed to two deaths and in three deaths, listeriosis was a factor. Three children between the ages of five and 15 have developed invasive Listeria meningitis infections. In addition, 10 pregnancies have been harmed by the bacteria and health officials have confirmed one fetal loss. The latest illness in this outbreak was reported December 11 and there may have been others since then. The leading states are New Mexico (6 case patients), Missouri (5), Minnesota (4), Texas (4), Arizona (4), Wisconsin (3), California (2). Canada is now reporting that two people from the interior of that country have been sickened with the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes that is causing the U.S. outbreak.

Advice to Consumers.

Do not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided. If you have recently consumed a store-purchased caramel apple and have developed symptoms of listeriosis, immediately visit your health care provider. This form of food poisoning can be treated with antibiotics. If you are a case patient of this outbreak and still have caramel apples in your home, mark them as poisonous, but preserve them and turn them over to your attorney as possible evidence in a caramel apple Listeria lawsuit.

Caramel Apple Listeria Lawyer Sees Link Between Outbreak and Recall

More details have emerged about the caramel apple Listeria outbreak that has contributed to four deaths from Minnesota to Texas and California. Our office has been receiving contacts from families and individuals affected by the outbreak and we continue to provide free case consultations regarding carmel apple litigation for those who were hospitalized or died. The latest information in these cases pertains to a recall by Missouri food company Happy Apple Company

Pregnant women, babies, older adults and people who lack healthy immune systems, including cancer patients, are by far the most likely to be severely infected by Listeria food poisoning. Our firm has represented Listeria case patients in all of these categories, winning tens of millions for them over the years. To understand your legal rights and options for making a claim, call our firm toll-free at 1-888-377-8900 or click here to contact one of our attorneys.

On the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), do not eat any commercially produced, pre-packed caramel apples until more information is available to explain the origin of this outbreak.  One brand, in particular, is standing out right now, but others have not been ruled out. The lone recall so far applies to Happy Apple brand caramel apples with any best-used-by date between August 25th and November 23rd 2014.

Happy Apple Listeria Recall

According to the recall notice circulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Happy Apple carmel apples are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the dangerous pathogen that has sickened 29 people in 10 states. Happy Apple caramel apples were sold this fall in single pack, three packs, four packs and eight packs. They were available at grocery, discount and club stores, including Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, Mike's Discount Food and Safeway, among others. Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker is concerned that some consumers may still have contaminated caramel apples in their homes, as are health officials from state and federal agencies.

Happy Apple said in its recall notice that it has been working with the Food and Drug Administration in the agency's investigation of the listeriosis outbreak. The company said Bidart Brothers, one of its apple suppliers, disclosed that there may be a connection between the outbreak and the apples that they supplied to Happy Apple's California facility. The information was made public soon after the first caramel apple Listeria lawsuit was filed, in California.

Minnesota Listeria Lawyer Investigating Outbreak of Listeria Linked to Caramel Apples

Minnesota Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are investigating  two Listeria deaths and an outbreak of Listeria linked to store-purchased caramel apples. Pritzker's office is joining state and federal health officials in warning consumers to avoid any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples. This includes caramel apples with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles. Do not eat them until more information from the investigation becomes available. If you have any in your home, discard them or seal them and mark them as poisonous.

"We'll do anything we can to bring awareness to this outbreak,'' said Pritzker, whose firm has spent decades representing victims of Listeria and other human pathogens found in food. "This is obviously a very significant and dangerous breach of food safety.''

So far, four Minnesota cases have been confirmed in people who purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods. These carmel apples carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand names. These two brands are no longer available for purchase at retail locations; however, health officials are concerned that persons who purchased them may still have them in their homes. "The investigation is evolving, and other caramel apple brands and locations may also be impacted,'' the Minnesota Department of Health said in a press release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also is working on the case.  So far, all known victims were adults ages 59 to 90 years. They became ill in late October and November. All were hospitalized and two of them died. Listeria monocytogenes is a dangerous bacteria because it can hide in many different foods and grow even when refrigerated. Ninety percent of its victims fall into four groups: Pregnant, infant, over 65 or immuno-compromised. Women who become infected by Listeria when they are pregnant run the risk of miscarriage and potential damage to their reproductive system. 

If you or a loved one have recently become ill after eating a commercially produced carmel apple, immediately report to a medical clinic for examination by a physician. Symptoms can take weeks to develop, sometimes as long as 70 days. Case patients can experience fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness.

If you have been confirmed as a victim of this outbreak and need legal representation, contact the PritzkerOlsen law firm for a free case consultation.  Our group of lawyers, based in Minneapolis, practices extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation and have recovered millions of dollars for Listeria victims and for families who have lost loved ones to listeriosis.

Wonton Foods Bean Sprouts Sicken 111 in 12 States

Wonton Foods bean sprouts contaminated with Salmonella have now sickened 111 people in 12 states. About 26 percent of those sickened have been hospitalized, a higher rate than the average of 20 percent.

The sprouts, served at restaurants and sold in stores on the East Coast, have sickened an additional 24 people since the last CDC update on December 4.  The illnesses were reported in the following states: Connecticut 3, Maine 4, Maryland 5, Massachusetts 34, Montana 1, New Hampshire 6, New York, 21, Ohio 3, Pennsylvania 17, Rhode Island 7, Vermont 3, Virginia 1. Some have been eft with sizable medical bills,  others face long-term consequences of the illness such as reactive arthritis which causes painful joint inflammation.

If you have been sickened or hospitalized by bean sprouts contaminated with Salmonella and would like to talk with a Salmonella lawyer about your legal options. Contact the national food safety law firm PritzkerOlsen for a free, no-obligation consultation.