Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Listeria-Tainted Caramel Apple Case



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 1, 2015 – In Felton, California, an 81-year-old resident took home a tainted caramel apple from her local Safeway store. She later died from a related infection.

“The facts in this case could apply to anyone in any location in the United States,” remarked Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury attorney. “We all shop for groceries and assume that what we buy is safe for consumption. As it turned out, that caramel apple was allegedly tainted with Listeria, and it was anything but safe.”

Health investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracking the Listeria infection cases revealed that the tainted apples were the suspected cause of an outbreak seen in several other states. It affected people of all ages, ranging from seven to 92. Listeriosis is caused by the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, and it is dangerous for those with poor immune systems, for pregnant women and for seniors.

Within a few days of eating the apple, the woman began to feel very ill and unsteady on her feet. She fell and sustained a concussion severe enough that she was brought to a local hospital, then airlifted to another facility where she underwent an operation for a brain bleed. Her health appeared to be improving, and she was discharged to begin a course of rehabilitation.

On Thanksgiving, she was found non-responsive and taken to the hospital once again. It was there that the doctors informed family members that she had a Listeria infection. She died later that day.

The woman’s family has chosen to file a wrongful death lawsuit and has named the company who sold the tainted apple to the Safeway store and the store itself as defendants. Their statement of claim asserts that Listeria infections are preventable, provided basic precautions are taken. Clearly, the claim argues, those precautions were not taken with the tainted apples. 

Annually, there are about 1,600 cases of Listeria infection reported in the United States.

The CDC reported an 11-state outbreak linked to the pre-packaged caramel apples, resulting in six deaths and 31 hospitalizations. According to the report, three of the cases led to meningitis. Nine infections occurred in pregnant women. There were also at least two reported instances of illness caused by the apples in Canada. States that experienced an outbreak included Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

“If your family has been affected by this outbreak or if you have faced a similar situation, contact an experienced injury attorney for help. These cases can be complex, and in order to obtain fair and equitable compensation for medical expenses and other costs, an attorney is needed to facilitate the process,” said Schuelke.

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