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Littleton Man Files Lawsuit After Falling Ill With Listeria

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Elaine and Herb Stevens are the latest to file suit against Jensen Farms over listeria contaminated cantaloupe. (credit: CBS)

Elaine and Herb Stevens are the latest to file suit against Jensen Farms over listeria contaminated cantaloupe. (credit: CBS)

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)- An elderly man from Littleton is the latest to file a lawsuit against Jensen Farms over cantaloupe linked to the listeria outbreak. Herb Stevens was rushed to the hospital about a month ago after eating contaminated cantaloupe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed 55 people in 14 states infected with listeria. Eight people have died, including two in Colorado.

Jensen Farms in Holly recalled its cantaloupe last week after the melon was linked to listeria.

Stevens, 84, is living in a nursing home. He was being treated in the hospital for weeks after he was rushed to the emergency room on Aug. 24 with flu-like symptoms.

“He was actually in the restroom and he couldn’t get up from the toilet seat. He was too weak to even stand up,” said Stevens’ daughter Jeni Exley.

“When we got to the ER with his fever being 102.7, we knew that he was very ill, but we didn’t know about listeria at the time at all,” said Stevens’ wife Elaine.

Herb was diagnosed with listeriosis. Health officials tied the bacterial infection to a cantaloupe purchased from a King Soopers store in Littleton. The melon was traced to Jensen Farms.

Related Link: Listeria Outbreak Resources

“I am pretty angry about it because it’s something that shouldn’t have happened, I think. I think if the food industry had better standards it probably wouldn’t have happened,” said Exley.

Get insight on listeria from Dr. Dave Hnida in the video below:

Herb’s family is worried about his recovery. They said he was independent before he became ill, but now worry he will never be able to come home. Herb needs help to walk and can no longer be left alone. They said he will need significant medical care.

“Not because we think we’re going to have a lot of money to spend, but just to make sure some of our needs could be covered if things do not go well,” said Elaine.

The Food and Drug Administration is working to find the exact source of the bacteria.

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