Three years after Viola Tennant’s death, her family has reached a settlement with the Walmart store where the tainted fruit was purchased
After a woman died three years ago from eating a tainted cantaloupe, family members (the woman’s late husband and two sons) are seeking a settlement against the store where the fruit was purchased.
According to the petition filed in Greene County Circuit Court, Viola Tennant bought a cantaloupe from a Nixa Walmart store in August of 2011. This timeframe fits the time of a listeria outbreak involving the fruit. Unfortunately, Tennant died on November 30, 2011 at the age of 77.
Tennant’s family fully investigated the facts surrounding the circumstances of the wrongful death claim and feel that it would be in their best interest to settle with Wal-Mart Stores East, LP rather than taking the matter to the court system.
Since filing the petition, the two parties have negotiated a settlement, however the terms are being held confidential. Nevertheless, a spokesman for Walmart, Randy Hargrove, has been quoted as saying that settlement was a part of a larger settlement that many other families received.
Hargrove also said that he was unable to discuss any further specifics about the settlement(s), but he was able to say that Walmart was pleased that they were able to come to an agreement with the victims’ families. While the company was happy to settle the claims, the petition states that Walmart denies all of the death claims made against their company.
Walmart’s denial hinges on the claim that they take food safety “very seriously” in their stores. Moreover, Hargrove states that Walmart stores immediately pulled all potentially affected cantaloupe off store shelves when the company learned about the 2011 listeria outbreak.
The listeria outbreak in 2011 reportedly originated with cantaloupe from a farm in Colorado; however, the fruit were shipped out to approximately 28 states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak lead to 30 deaths and 147 confirmed cases of listeria infection across the 28 states.
As far as wrongful death lawsuits go, the ability to settle out of court is often time preferable to a lengthy trial. If you’ve suffered an unthinkable loss due to food poisoning or some other form of negligence, please schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney at Denver’s Babcock Law Firm today, or continue browsing our blog and knowledge center for more information.