Just over two years ago the CDC announced that a Listeria outbreak was linked to “Rocky Ford” cantaloupe grown in Colorado.
Mary Montour died over this past weekend. She was 76 years old and had the dubious distinction of being one of the 147 people sickened in the 2011 cantaloupe Listeria outbreak. The Montours were avid shoppers at Walmart stores located in Commerce City, Westminster and Broomfield, Colorado where they purchased “Rocky Ford” cantaloupes in August of 2011. Ms. Montour was hospitalized for 5 days after falling ill with symptoms of listeriosis on August 15. During her 5-day hospitalization, a blood sample collected from Ms. Montour tested positive for one of 5 strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with the cantaloupe outbreak. The total medical cost of treating Ms. Montour’s Listeria infection exceeded $40,000. Despite receiving additional medical care, Ms. Montour suffered acute symptoms of her illness for several weeks and continued to suffer related to listeriosis for months afterwards.
Other Colorado Walmart and King Soopers shoppers who have died during the past year after surviving and recovering from the acute Listeria infection have been:
Rodney DeHerrera, Betty Mills, Dimas Nunez, Charles Palmer, Herbert Stevens and James Weathered.
In some states when someone dies the amount that their estate or their family can recover by way of financial compensation dies with them. One can argue the fact that the strategy of the defendants in these actions – primarily the retailers – has been to extend these cases for past two years to drive the value of a claim down by waiting for the claimant to die.
But, perhaps I am just being a bit cynical?
Many more died acutely or never left hospital, rehabilitation of hospice. Most of these are counted by the CDC in the over 33 officially killed by cantaloupe:
Sandra Antle – King Soopers Shopper
Michael Hauser – Sunflower Shopper
Hazel Jacobs – City Market Shopper
Sharon Jones – Walmart and King Soopers Shopper
Michael Nimrod – Walmart and King Soopers Shopper
Michael Segatti – Walmart and King Soopers Shopper
Lois Tufly – City Market Shopper
Weimer – Dillons Shopper
Ellaine Babcock (Unknown Location)
Gilbert – Kroger Shopper
Clarence Wells (Unknown Location)
Pumphrey – Dillons Shopper
Riffle – King Soopers (purchased by friend in Colorado)
Schwarz – First Watch Consumer
Onsager – Walmart (purchased by friend in Montana)
Drinkwalter – Walmart Shopper
Christiansen – Walmart Shopper
Gaxiola – Walmart Shopper
Wilcox – Walmart Shopper
Beach – Homeland Shopper
Marie Jones – Kroger Shopper
Rest in Peace.