Texas Family Sues Over Alleged Listeria Death

Health officials say listeria outbreak has killed 28

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011  |  Updated 12:44 AM CDT
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Family of Dallas County Woman Sues Over Listeria

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 100 were sickened and 28 killed by the listeria outbreak.

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Family of Dallas County Woman Sues Over Listeria

The family of an elderly Dallas woman says she died after eating cantaloupe tainted with listeria.
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A negligence lawsuit filed by the family of an elderly North Texas woman says she died after eating cantaloupe tainted with listeria.

The lawsuit filed in Dallas against Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo., said Marie Jones, 89, died Sept. 23 at a hospital after consuming cantaloupe.

Jones first became ill Sept. 10 with a severe headache and stomach problems, the suit said. She was admitted to Baylor University Medical Center on Sept. 12 and never recovered.

The Food and Drug Administration said Jensen Farms voluntarily recalled its whole cantaloupes Sept. 14. Federal health officials said dozens of deaths have been linked to the listeria outbreak in 12 states.

The lawsuit filed last week on behalf of the Dallas County woman's children, Russell Jones and Terri Blackmon, also names Frontera Produce Ltd., of Edinburg.

A Frontera spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit.

A message left Tuesday with Jensen Farms, which has temporarily suspended production, was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit filed by Dallas-based law firm Reyes Brown Reilley and Marler Clark is the eighth lawsuit filed by Marler Clark in the multistate listeria outbreak.

"Ultimately they have a responsibility for putting food out into the marketplace that's not contaminated with a bacteria that will sicken or kill people," said attorney Bill Marler.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed 133 illnesses and 28 deaths in the outbreak linked to Jensen Farms. 

NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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