Ven Johnson Law PLC recently filed a lawsuit in the Mecosta County Circuit Court against Meijer Inc. and Eagle Produce LLC, requesting more than $25,000.
According to court documents, Ven Johnson Law filed the lawsuit because of alleged negligence, gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct as well as breach of warranty by Meijer Inc. and Eagle Produce LLC for selling contaminated food.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ven Johnson’s client, Barbara Bowers, a resident of Mecosta County.
Bowers allegedly purchased store-made mixed melon chunks at a Meijer superstore at 1500 Waldron Way, Big Rapids, which she consumed on or about Sept. 30 and “became sick with nausea and extreme diarrhea causing frequent bowel extractions for lengthy periods of time.”
Per court documents, on or about Oct. 3, Bowers went to the emergency room at Spectrum hospital for treatment. She was diagnosed with “diarrhea of presumed infectious origin, weakness and abdominal cramping.”
On Oct. 7, Meijer, in conjunction with Arizona-based Eagle Produce, the supplier of the melons, “publicly announced a voluntary recall of whole cantaloupe and select cut cantaloupe fruit trays and bowls, which specifically included the ‘mixed melon chunks small bowl’ purchased and partially consumed by Barbara,” according to court documents.
Ven Johnson Law stated that Meijer’s recall announcement was due to a potential risk of salmonella, an organism that can sometimes be fatal and cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Bowers is seeking more than $25,000, together with court costs, interest and attorney fees as a result of Meijer and Eagle Produce’s alleged negligence, gross negligence and/or willful and wanton misconduct and/or breach of warranties that resulted in but not limited to: “diarrhea of presumed infectious origin, weakness and abdominal cramping” and also for claims of “past, present and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, fright and shock, denial of social pleasure and enjoyment, embarrassment, humiliation and mortification, and reasonable and necessary medical expenses.
“It’s clear both of these companies lost sight of what is most important — protecting the health of their customers,” said Ven Johnson, president of Ven Johnson Law. “Both Meijer and Eagle Produce were more focused on getting their product on shelves rather than taking the necessary time to inspect the food. As a result of their negligence, our client suffered severe discomfort, mental anguish, pain and humiliation over their failure to exercise caution.”
Meijer and Eagle Produce have not responded to interview requests from the Grand Rapids Business Journal.