Now that the first lawsuit has been filed in the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak, will wrongful death claims for Kansas victims follow? Three people who were patients at Via Christi hospital in Wichita who were unknowingly served contaminated Blue Bell products died from their Listeria infections.
The patients ate a single-serve Blue Bell product called Scoops during their hospital stays which were later found to be contaminated with Listeria. Scoops are one of several single serve Blue Bell products that were shipped to the company’s institutional customers which included hospitals, schools, nursing homes and the retirement community where David Philip Shockley worked.
Shockley, the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit filed May 19 against Blue Bell, repeatedly ate single-serve Blue Bell ice cream products while he was at work. Because he suffers from ulcerative colitis, Shockley had been taking immunosuppressive medications since 2012 rendering him particularly vulnerable to food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. According to the complaint, the Listeria meningitis infection he contracted was so severe, Shockley nearly died.
Blue Bell products made at production facilities in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma have been linked to illnesses in four states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona. Some of the illnesses occurred as far back as January 2010. And it’s possible that those sickened weren’t notified that they were part of this outbreak.
After Listeria was found in single serve, half gallon and pint containers of Blue Bell ice cream, the company recalled all of its products from the market on April 20. Consumers who have Blue Bell products in their freezers should not eat them as anything made since 2010 has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria.