Update – I got an email from the family – Jim died last night.

That was the call I got this week. Jim Weatherred, after battling both Listeria and Multiple Myeloma, has called in Hospice so he can die with dignity surrounded by friends and family. Jim just turned 60 and has been married to Diana for nearly 40 years. Colorado is their home. They have three children; Julie, 37, Jennifer, 31 and Jim, 29. Jim’s Listeriosis struck him in August 2011 while he was undergoing treatment for Multiple Myeloma. He was hospitalized for months due to Listeria. His Multiple Myeloma treatment was delayed as he struggled with complications due to eating a cantaloupe. His medical bills to fight Listeria were nearly $600,000.

Jim likely has only days. I wish both he and his family peace.

When Jim dies, he will join two other of my clients who died recently; Rodney DeHerrera and Dimas Nunes. Coincidently, like Jim, both Rodney and Dimas were Colorado residents and were customers of King Sooper, Freshpack, Frontera, Jensen Farms and Primus too.

These men join other members of the largest foodborne death toll in the United States in 100 years. Some died within days or weeks of contracting Listeria:

Sandra Antle – Colorado

Elaine Babcock – Louisiana

William Beach – Oklahoma

Vernon Christiansen – New Mexico

George Drinkwalter – Nebraska

Rene Gaxiola – New Mexico

Frances Gilbert – Louisiana

Hazel Jacobs – Colorado

Marie Jones – Texas

Sharon Jones – Colorado

Michael Nimrod – Colorado

William Pumphrey – Missouri

John Riffle – Missouri

Lois Tufly – Colorado

David Weimer – Kansas

Clarence Wells – Maryland

Florence Wilcox – New Mexico

Others lingered painfully for months before they died:

Michael Hauser – Colorado

Betty Mills – Colorado

Jerome Onsager – Montana

Paul Schwarz – Missouri

Michael Segatti – Colorado

The losses to these families are incalculable. Medical costs alone were nearly $10,000,000.

Our food safety system should be embarrassed, and King Sooper, Freshpack, Frontera, Jensen Farms and Primus, and others, should be ashamed.