June 17, 2024

Caramel Apple Lawsuit Filed Against Walmart, Bidart

Walmart and Bidart Brothers Apple Packing are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a California woman who has spent more than a month in the hospital after contracting listeriosis from a caramel apple. The suit was filed January 13 in Superior Court in Sacramento.

GavelsAccording to the complaint, Darlene Vouri and her husband Francis Vouri purchased caramel apples on October 14, 2014 from the Wal–Mart located at 5454 Crossings Drive in Rocklin, Calif. Within a few days of eating them, Darlene began to experince symptoms of a Listeria infection, including headache, neck pain, fatigue, chills, and muscle aches and weakness.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Mrs. Vouri went to the doctor several times as her condition deteriorated.  On November 8, she collapsed and was rushed to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. There she had a spinal tap that revealed Listeria meningitis. She was placed in quarantine and treated with  antibiotics.

After the quarantine period, she was transferred to Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation, where she continued to receive around-the-clock medical treatment. She was released December 10, after a month of hospitalization and treatment.

She returned home where she received in-home nursing as she was unable to walk or perform daily tasks without assistance. On January 10, 2015, she collapsed again and remains in guarded condition.

Mrs Vouri is one of at least 32 outbreak victims in 11 states who contracted Listeria infections from caramel apples and the third person to file a lawsuit.

The outbreak has killed seven people, although listeriosis definitely contributed to just three of those cases. The age range for those sickened spans nine decades and includes three pediatric cases of Listeria meningitis, three premature births, 1 fetal loss. and six other cases related to pregnancy.

Health officials have linked the outbreak to contaminated apples produced by Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, Calif. Three recalls have been issued. To see a timeline of key events, click here.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogenic bacteria, can vary. Most people have severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, nausea, and diarrhea. But some may have only very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Pregnant women can feel as if they have the flu, but listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor.


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