The deadly Listeria outbreak that shutdown the Ohio Dole Fresh Vegetables salad processing facility for three months in early 2016 is now in civil litigation, but that too may be ending.  The Dayton Daily News was first to report that Monterey, CA-based Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. has reached separate undisclosed settlements  with two of the parties claiming injuries in the outbreak.

The salad production facility in Springfield, OH, was highlighted in Dole’s 2010 corporate report.
The salad production facility in Springfield, OH, was highlighted in Dole’s 2010 corporate report.

The litigation stemmed from the 9-state, 5-province Listeria outbreak that product sampling traced back to the Dole packaged salads facility in Springfield, OH.    Dole has maintained the packaged salads where not adulterated when they left their facility. Fourteen Listeria infections were treated in Canada, according to that country’s Public Health Agency and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 19 cases in the United States.

All the U.S.cases required hospitalization and there was one death in Michigan that CDC associates with the outbreak.

Dole reported on Jan. 21, 2016 that it had stopped production the Springfield, OH facility where it produced package salads.  At the same time, Dole withdrew all packaged salads produced at the Ohio facility that were then on the market.  It expanded the recall a week later.   It did not resume packaging salads in Springfield until late April 2016.

The parties are just a step short of requesting dismissal of two cases that are separately before U.S. District Courts.  The Plaintiffs are two elderly Ohio women, one from Franklin County and the other Warren County.

Seattle attorney Bill Marler, who represents the Warren County woman, says his nationally known food safety firm also has two cases still to be filed from the outbreak, including the Michigan death case.

On the case he did settle with Dole, Marler would only acknowledge the opposing attorneys filed  notice with the court that  “the matter was resolved by mutual agreement of the parties.”

Editor’s Note: Marler is also publisher of Food Safety News.


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