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Dole Sued For Death Of Ohio Woman, Listeria Outbreak

Dole lettuce products are blamed for another deadly case of Listeria.

A new lawsuit claims that a 79-year-old woman from Franklin County died from Listeria after eating a Dole salad. 

Attorney Heather Lutz, from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, will represent the estate of Ellen H. DiStafano. Lutz says they’re certain her death is linked to an earlier outbreak of Listeria that was traced to the Dole plant in Springfield, Ohio.

“What we have been able to determine is that the strain of bacteria that the hospital was able to identify when they did their testing is the same strain that was linked to the Dole outbreak in 2015,” said Lutz.

According to the CDC, since July 2015, 32 people in Canada and the US have been infected, and one person died, after they consumed Dole salad products and contracted Listeria. The CDC traced the outbreak to the Dole plant in Springfield, Ohio.

Recently released documents suggest that Dole was aware of the potential risk for contamination. Inspections reports by the Department of Health and Human Services reveal that Listeria was found at the plant on five separate inspections before the 2015 outbreak.

In a news release published on the company’s website, Dole said they’d been contacted by the Department of Justice in connection with an investigation. “We will be similarly cooperating with the DOJ to answer questions and address any concerns,” Dole said in the statement.

Dole did not respond to requests for an interview regarding the pending lawsuit.