Monday, April 20th20.1°C
25631

Wal-Mart settles with cantaloupe victims from Colorado listeria outbreak

DENVER - Wal-Mart said Tuesday that the company has agreed to settle claims from many of the families of victims who died in a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced to a Colorado cantaloupe farm.

The company settled with 23 families, including nine in Colorado, said Bill Marler, the families' attorney. The terms of the settlements were kept confidential.

Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company is "committed to our customers' safety and we take food safety concerns like this very seriously."

Hargrove said Wal-Mart stores in Colorado and other states removed the contaminated cantaloupe from the produce department as soon as the company learned of the outbreak, but some relatives said the company did not react fast enough.

Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges stemming from the deadly outbreak and were sentenced to five years of probation and six months of home detention. A federal magistrate also ordered brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to each pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

They pleaded guilty last year to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

According to federal regulators, conditions at Jensen Farms caused the outbreak. Investigators said the melons likely were contaminated in the farm's packing house because of dirty water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, sued the companies that inspected and delivered the cantaloupes, but those claims were resolved with this settlement, The Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/jwdoe7l).

Numerous lawsuits against other retailers who sold the contaminated melons still are pending. Those include Kroger, or King Soopers, as well as distributor Frontera Produce and farm inspection company Primus Labs.

About one week before Colorado officials detected the outbreak's first victim, an inspector sent by Primus gave the melon farm a 96 per cent "superior" rating.

Jensen Farms, a fourth-generation farm in southeastern Colorado, filed for bankruptcy within a year of the outbreak, and lawsuits against the farm were resolved through bankruptcy court.

Marler's law firm has filed lawsuits on behalf of 44 families, representing 28 who died and 17 who were sickened but survived, against multiple defendants in 12 states. Medical expenses from those cases total more than $12 million, Marler said.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15412.60+52.05
S&P CDNX703.65+0.80
DJIA18034.93+208.63
Nasdaq4994.60+62.79
S&P 5002100.40+19.22
CDN Dollar0.8157-0.002
Gold1193.20-0.30
Oil56.18-0.20
Lumber247.70-0.70
Natural Gas2.543+0.007

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.115-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.42+0.02
Cantex0.035+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.385+0.055
Metalex Ventures0.085+0.010
Russel Metals27.42-0.06
Copper Mountain Mining1.10-0.03
Colorado Resources0.11+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.005+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.185+0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.15

 





FEATURED Property
12959512438 Davidson Road
1 bedrooms 1 baths
$399,000
more details
image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Calling on your help!

Has the internet flattened prices as predicted? Has the internet created opportunities for your business to find higher priced markets further afield? Is posting prices on your website a good thing o...


Living with Plan B

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit Photo: Thinkstock.comHuman beings are optimists by nature. Whether...


Reverse mortgage solution

With the housing and financial markets on solid footing, some retired Canadians may consider cashing in their growing assets to enjoy vacations and major home renovations. Others, on the other hand, a...

_





25922


Member of BC Press Council


24875