An Oklahoma man who was hospitalized for a month after eating cantaloupe has filed a lawsuit against the grower and the distributor whose melons are at the center of the national outbreak of Listeria infection.

The suit was filed on behalf of Doyle Underwood, 68, of Smithville, OK, by the food safety law firm Marler Clark. The suit is the sixth filed by Marler Clark against Colorado-based cantaloupe producer Jensen Farms. The lawsuit also names Texas-based distributor Frontera Produce as a defendant.

According to the complaint filed in Federal District Court in Oklahoma, Doyle Underwood had eaten cantaloupe on multiple occasions in August, 2011.  By Sept. 2, he had begun to experience fatigue, muscle aches and mental changes — some of the symptoms of Listeria infection.

For the next three days his condition continued to worsen until he was hospitalized and diagnosed with listeriosis on Sept. 5. He was finally released from the hospital on Oct. 3.

Oklahoma health officials confirmed that his Listeria illness was part of the outbreak linked to Jensen Farms – Frontera Produce cantaloupes.


“A month in the hospital is quite the price to pay for enjoying a slice of cantaloupe,” said Listeria attorney William Marler. “Mr. Underwood and many others like him have suffered dearly in this outbreak and we hope that Jensen Farms and Frontera will step up and do the right thing for their customers.”