A Wyoming man says the Sheridan Walmart is to blame for his wife's death. He says a cantaloupe purchased at the grocer was contaminated and he's suing.
In the wrongful death lawsuit Frederick Lollar says the melon he purchased at the Sheridan Walmart caused Jacqueline Lollar's death and he is suing for monetary, physical, and emotional damages.
Lollar says he bought a cantaloupe at Walmart on September 1, 2011, which contained Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause a fatal infection.
He claims he ate a quarter of the cantaloupe, while his wife, Jacqueline ate the rest.
On September 15, the lawsuit states both felt ill, but Jacqueline felt the worst of it on September 18, so Frederick took her to the hospital.
She died the following day.
Tests showed there was Listeria monocytogenes in her blood.
Lollar states in the lawsuit that the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for cantaloupe because some were potentially contaminated. Before that, Walmart removed all cantaloupes from the shelves.
Lollar claims before his wife passed, he went to Walmart to buy more cantaloupes, unaware at the time of any recall. According to the lawsuit, when he asked an employee why there weren't any cantaloupes available, the employee only said more would come in soon and did not mention the food was removed for health concerns. There also were not any signs in the store saying customers may have purchased contaminated food recently.
So Lollar says not only did the Sheridan Walmart sell contaminated cantaloupe, but its employees failed to let customers know they may have purchased contaminated food.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove sent a statement via email to KOTA saying, "At Walmart, we are committed to our customers' safety and we take food safety concerns very seriously. As soon as we were made aware of a Listeria outbreak associated with cantaloupes from the Rocky Ford growing area, we immediately began removing cantaloupes sourced from that region. We were not aware of this claim until the lawsuit was filed. Because this is ongoing litigation, we are unable to discuss the details of the case."
A hearing date for the lawsuit has not yet been scheduled.