January 24, 2018

Caramel Apple Listeria Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Minnesota Man

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Minnesota man who allegedly contracted a Listeria infection, listeriosis, from contaminated caramel apples he purchased at a Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Cub Foods store. The complaint, filed in Fourth Judicial District Court in Hennepin County, names Bidart Bros. Inc. and Supervalu Inc. as defendants (Spear v. Bidart Bros. Inc, Supervalu Inc, Cub Foods, Case No. 27-CV-15-4555).

GavelsThe Minnesota man is one of thirty-five confirmed listeriosis cases in an outbreak linked to caramel apples made with Bidart Bros. apples and sold under the brand names Carnival, Happy Apples, and Merb’s Candies. People from 12 states were sickened: they live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Brendan Flaherty - Listeria Attorney

Attorney Brendan Flaherty 1-888-377-8900

“The Spear family is bringing this case to get answers about what happened to cause so many caramel apples to become contaminated with this pathogenic bacteria,” said Brendan Flaherty, a lawyer with Pritzker Hageman, a national food safety law firm representing Spear.  “We all need those answers to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.” Flaherty is also representing a woman in New Mexico.

On September 19 and October 21, 2014, Robert Spear purchased several prepackaged caramel apples at Cub Foods, ate them and began feel ill at the end of October, according to the complaint.

He was dizzy, nauseous, feverish and severely fatigued. He also had pain in his right hip. By November 3, 2014, he was in such pain he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was admitted to the intensive care unit and, after fluid from his hip was cultured, was diagnosed with listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection.

Health officials found that the strain from his culture was a match to the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that was found in caramel apples linked to a multi-state Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. Using his food history and shopping card data they were able to determine where and when he purchased the contaminated caramel apples.

Among other claims, the lawsuit alleges Bidart and Supervalu violated state and federal law prohibiting the distribution, receipt and sale of adulterated products, Minn. Stat. Chapter 3 and 21 U.S.C. § 331.

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