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.
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.
Attorney 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.