Listeria monocytogenes, or L. monocytogenes, is a bacterium that is more commonly known simply as Listeria. It produces listeriosis, a serious illness most commonly contracted by eating food contaminated with the Listeria bacterium.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1,600 Americans are infected with Listeria on a yearly basis, and about 260 of those victims die. Because listeriosis can escalate quickly and become dangerous, those infected generally require hospitalization.
Listeria can infect anyone, but those most susceptible to serious complications are pregnant women, newborn babies, elderly people, and people with suppressed immune systems. Expectant mothers have to be particularly vigilant about avoiding Listeria, because it can spread to the baby and result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or infection. The CDC estimates that 20 percent of affected pregnancies end in loss of the fetus, and 3 percent end in stillbirth.
Like many other foodborne diseases, Listeria begins to grow in the digestive system, but it can spread to affect the bloodstream, major organs, and the central nervous system, including the brain. The incubation period can be anywhere from three days to two months, although symptoms usually present within the first month.
Listeriosis is the most common result of an infection with Listeria, but if the infection spreads to the nervous system, it can result in bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can worsen to include headaches, a stiff neck, disorientation, convulsions, and light sensitivity. Hospitalization is required.
Some considerations to help you decide whether Elliot Olsen can help you:
What was the cause of the illness?
The incubation period — the amount of time between ingesting food contaminated with Listeria and the onset of symptoms — can make it difficult to determine the precise source of an illness. Listeria symptoms usually start to present within one to four weeks, although some victims have reported experiencing symptoms as late as 10 weeks. However, if you learn that a food you ate is the cause of an outbreak of listeriosis, you might have a claim, and therefore a need to contact Elliot Olsen for a free consultation.
How serious was the illness?
According to the CDC, diseases produced by Listeria can infect anyone and can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the area of the body that was infected.
If you experience dangerous complications when infected with Listeria, then you probably have a good reason to contact Elliot. Those most susceptible to Listeria complications are pregnant women, newborns, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems.
If you are pregnant and contract listeriosis, the symptoms can seem flu-like, but the illness can result in premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, infection of the baby, or even death. For others, symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, and muscle aches.
If you fall into these categories, it’s time to consult Elliot. He can provide peace of mind by guiding you and your family through the process of being diagnosed and treated, as well as pinpointing the cause and determining what specific legal action to take.
How is a diagnosis determined?
To confirm a diagnosis of listeriosis, a doctor or lab technician will take a bacterial culture from body tissue or fluid (blood, spinal fluid, placenta) and run it through tests. The illness is treated with antibiotics.
What happens once a diagnosis is confirmed?
Having Elliot representing your interests is important. After a diagnosis has been confirmed, he will ensure that the doctor or lab reports it to the state health department. If the source of the illness hasn’t been determined, an epidemiological investigation can be conducted to identify the source, and also help reveal if the infected person is part of an outbreak.
Why file a lawsuit?
If you or a family member have experienced serious consequences from your illness, you have reason to seek compensation. Elliot can help you and your family decide what legal action to take. He will get the answers you need, and also seek the proper recompense for your family’s pain and distress, including having medical bills paid or lost income recovered.
For more information about hiring a Listeria lawyer, watch the short video below.
When should I file a lawsuit for Listeria?
When a diagnosis of listeriosis has been determined and the source of the illness has been found, that’s the time to retain Elliot’s services. He will help you and your family work your way through your legal options. Elliot will get the answers you seek, and he will determine the proper compensation for your family’s pain and distress. That can include having your medical bills paid or lost income recovered.
Get a Free Consultation
If you or a family member have been the victim of an infection caused by the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes, or more commonly Listeria), you might be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the food, a distributor of the food, the grocery store where you bought the food, or the restaurant where you ate the food. You can seek reparations for medical bills, wages lost during your illness and recovery, in addition to compensation for your pain and suffering and permanent disability.
To file a lawsuit, you should hire Elliot Olsen, an experienced personal injury attorney. Elliot has almost two decades of experience representing clients who have been harmed by Listeria poisoning. He knows the questions to ask to help your family get the answers, peace of mind, and recompense you deserve.
A look at Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018:
Deli meats and cheeses: On April 17, 2019, the CDC announced that sliced deli meats and cheeses contaminated with Listeria have sickened eight people – one of whom died – since November 2016.
Pork products: On Nov. 20, 2018, Long Phung Food Products in Houston, Texas, recalled ready-to-eat pork products because they might be contaminated. The CDC reported that four people were sickened in four states; all four required hospitalization.
Deli ham: On Oct. 3, 2018, Johnston County Hams Inc. in Smithfield, North Carolina, recalled ham products because they might be contaminated with Listeria. (As a result of the recall, several other companies recalled ham products. For complete lists of recalled products, check the USDA-FSIS websiteExternal and the FDA website.) The CDC’s final update on the outbreak showed four people sick in two states, North Carolina and Virginia. All four needed to be hospitalized, and one Virginia victim died.