Woman sues after son hospitalized from salmonella-tainted cantaloupe

A Florida woman is suing Sam’s Club and its distributor, Trufresh, which is owned by Sofia Produce, alleging that their cantaloupes were contaminated with salmonella and caused her son to be hospitalized.

The outbreak was reported back in November and has caused the deaths of two people in Minnesota. Hundreds of people got sick nationwide, according to CDC reports.

The company issued a recall of cantaloupe products last week, according to an FDA announcement. Previous announcements included recalls of the “Malichita” and “Rudy” brands of cantaloupe.

Court documents show the lawsuit was filed in federal court last Monday, and includes charges of liability, breach of warranty and negligence.

RELATED: CDC: 2 Minnesotans die, 13 sick after eating cantaloupes contaminated with Salmonella

RELATED: More Minnesotans sickened amid deadly cantaloupe-linked salmonella outbreak

The lawsuit states the child ate cantaloupe regularly and that he had some from a fruit platter on or around Nov. 24. The platter was purchased from Sam’s Club and contained cantaloupe that was contaminated by salmonella that was manufactured, processed, produced, supplied, packaged, distributed, imported, marketed and sold by Trufresh, according to the complaint.

The complaint states the boy began to feel sick on or around Nov. 26, and he started vomiting, got a fever and bloody diarrhea.

His mother brought him to the hospital, where tests confirmed he was infected with Salmonella and developed salmonellosis. The complaint states he was in the hospital for three days.

Sam’s Club, a Walmart-owned company, issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

Our thoughts go out to the Long family and their son, and we hope he makes a full recovery. We are committed to our customers’ safety and take food safety incidents like this seriously. We continue to monitor this product recall, which has not affected Sam’s Club. We will respond appropriately with the court once we are served with the complaint.

Walmart Global Governance Communications Senior Manager Kelly Hellbusch

Trufresh’s CEO also shared this statement in response:

“Our hearts go out to anyone affected by the outbreak. We realize that no words will be of comfort to the people and their families who have felt its greatest impact. We continue to work with our supplier, costumers, and health authorities to investigate how the contamination may have happened. However, due to pending litigation, we cannot comment directly on the recall.”

Trufresh CEO Rafael Roiz

The lawsuit is asking for relief from damages incurred from physical and mental pain, emotional distress, as well as medical and pharmacy expenses as a result of the child’s salmonellosis. No specific amount was disclosed in the court filing, which states that the boy “sustained injuries and damages in an amount to be determined at trial.”

The case is being brought forward by two attorneys, including Raymond J. Trueblood-Konz, who is based out of the Minneapolis law firm, Pritzker Hageman, P.A. The lawsuit shows he is working jointly with Jack J. Fine, based out of Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A. in Gainesville, Florida.