Today, the OFT Food Safety & Injury firm filed the first lawsuits arising out the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak tied to bagged salads sold at midwestern grocery stores and manufactured by Fresh Express, Inc. Both lawsuits involve Aldi Inc, which owns and operates ALDI supermarkets across the country. Other supermarkets, such as Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, and Walmart, have also been identified as selling the contaminated bagged salads, which all reportedly were manufactured by Fresh Express, Inc. Other stores may be involved as well.
The first lawsuit was filed against Aldi Inc. in Cook County, Illinois (Case No. 2020-L-6616). Our client in that case purchased Little Salad Bar Garden Salad at his local ALDI in Danville, Illinois. Several days after consuming the salad, he developed the painful symptoms of a Cyclospora infection, including watery diarrhea. He went to the hospital several times before doctors were able to test him for Cyclospora, but he eventually tested positive and began treatment with antibiotics. His symptoms still persist, however, which is not uncommon with this serious parasitic infection.
The other lawsuit was filed against Aldi in Minnesota federal court, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (Case No. 20-cv-1429). Our client in that case consumed the same Little Salad Bar Garden Salad from an ALDI in Eagan, Minnesota. Several days later, he began began suffering severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and cramping. The symptoms became so severe that he was hospitalized for three days with symptoms consistent with an acute Cyclospora infection. He is still suffering the effects of the infection and has been unable to return to work.
Fresh Express, Inc. is the manufacturer and supplier of the salad products. It has been named as a defendant in the Minnesota federal case.
Unfortunately, the Cyclospora lawyers at OFT were prepared for and expecting this kind of outbreak, which has become almost an annual tradition in this country. Our lawyers have represented hundreds of people sickened in previous summer outbreaks of this dangerous parasite—which is typically spread when human feces are allowed to come in contact with food sold to consumers. Attorney Ryan Osterholm is concerned that these garden salads sickened more individuals who have not yet sought treatment. “This could be a very large outbreak of Cyclospora. I suspect there are many people that have put off medical attention due to COVID-19 concerns.” Cyclospora can cause persistent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and a fever. “Extreme diarrhea is definitely the hallmark symptom,” says Osterholm.
Anyone who may have been sickened in this outbreak is encouraged to contact us for for a free consultation.
Fresh Express has recalled dozens of bagged salad products, including: