Ohio woman with mother in coma sues Dole following Listeria-in-lettuce outbreak

An Ohio woman has filed a lawsuit against the Dole Fresh Vegetables company after claiming tainted salad put her mother in a coma.

listeria4Health officials have reported that 18 Americans and 11 Canadians have been stricken with listeriosis linked to a Dole processing plant in Springfield.

Four have died.

Constance Georgostathis has filed suit against Dole after claiming a salad mix tainted with Listeria placed her mother, Kiki Christofield, in a coma.

According to a news release from Georgostathis’ attorney, Georgostathis bought the salad from a Kroger on late January. On Jan. 23, Christofield began to feel sick and by Jan. 26 she reportedly was experiencing extreme head and neck pain, confusion and and altered mental state. She entered a comatose state on Jan. 31 at Bethesda North Hospital near Cincinnati.

The Dayton Daily News adds that Dole Fresh Vegetables officials declined to comment late Monday afternoon, citing the pending litigation. The company also declined to provide further updates about their investigation into the outbreak or if and when the Springfield facility might re-open.

Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who’s representing the family, said he isn’t aware of any similar suits filed in relation to the outbreak.

“Listeria in bagged salad is pretty unusual,” Marler said. “One of the things we’re seeing a lot more of is it has partly to do with there are a lot more people who are immune-compromised and people who are elderly, and that’s unfortunately what listeria targets.”

Lab tests performed by the Ohio Department of Health linked the outbreak to packaged salads produced in Springfield.