The first lawsuit was filed on Friday against Del Monte Fresh Produce on behalf of Aaron Ringmeier, who was infected with Cyclospora after consuming produce from a Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable tray. Mr. Ringmerier is represented by Marler Clark, the nation's leading food safety law firm.
On May 26, 2018, Mr. Ringmerier purchased a Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable tray from Kwik Trip, a local convenience store located in Mantiowoc, Wisconsin. The pre-packaged tray contained broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. On June 6, Mr. Ringmerier began experiencing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fatigue. Two weeks later, he sought medical attention at Aurora Medical Center. Due to the severity of his illness, Mr. Ringmerier continued treatment until July 15.
A stool sample taken by the ACL laboratories of Aurora Medical Center tested positive for Cyclospora. The Wisconsin Department of Health linked Mr. Ringmerier's Cyclospora infection to the Del Monte Cyclospora outbreak.
On June 15, the CDC announced a Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte 6oz and 12oz vegetable trays containing cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. As of September 6, 250 people are ill in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Eight people have been hospitalized, no deaths have been reported. Onset dates range from May 14 to June 13. The veggie trays include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, and dill dip.
"Cyclospora has become a growing threat to the public as we import more food from areas where the parasite is common," said William Marler, managing partner at Seattle-based, Marler Clark.
Cyclospora is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. The first Cyclospora outbreak in North America occurred in 1990 in contaminated water. Recently, Cyclospora outbreaks have been associated with imported fresh fruit and vegetables. For more information on Cyclospora, visit Food Poison Journal.