U.S.: Ohio resident sues Dole over Listeria outbreak
Constance Georgostathis of Warren County, Ohio, has taken Dole Fresh Vegetables to court seeking damages over listeria-contaminated leafy greens that allegedly put her mother into a coma.
The outbreak - linked to salad mixes produced at Dole's Springfield, Ohio facility - began in July last year and according to figures from authorities has infected 18 people in the U.S. and 11 in Canada.
Georgostathis is representing her mother Angeliki S. Christofield in the Southern District of Ohio court and has demanded a trial by jury.
In a document filed with the court on March 7, the plaintiff claims her mother consumed portions of a Dole pre-packaged salad on Jan. 20-21, and that tests showed the same salad had a Listeria strain "indistinguishable" from the strain linked to the Springfield facility.
Christofield felt unwell around Jan. 23-24, and by Jan. 26 she had extreme head and neck pain and suffered from confusion and altered mental status.
The following morning she was taken by ambulance to the hospital and then discharged back home, but in the following days her condition deteriorated before she fell into a coma on Jan. 31.
The 77-year-old was in a coma throughout February, and as of when the court document was submitted she had been able to open her eyes and occasionally could give a response to verbal stimuli; she was still unable to move her legs.
The plaintiff is alleging product liability and negligence on the part of Dole, claiming her mother suffered "general, special, incidental, statutory and consequential damages as the direct and proximate result of the acts and omissions of the defendant, in an amount which shall be proven at the time of trial".
The damages sought include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, both past and future, travel and travel-related expenses, future medical and medical-related expenses and lost wages.
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