Eau Claire woman files lawsuit against Kwik Trip & Del Monte

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local woman has filed a lawsuit against Kwik Trip and Del Monte Fresh Produce after getting sick from vegetable trays she bought.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Eau Claire County Court claims a woman was diagnosed with a rare parasite called Cyclospora after eating Del Monte vegetable trays purchased from Kwik Trip.

Kwik Trip recently pulled the product from stores after reports of illness in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The illness is linked to 6 and 12 ounce veggie trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots with dill dip. Cyclospora is a disease commonly found in developing countries and health officials say it’s typically spread by ingesting food or water contaminated by feces.

The lawsuit says the woman purchased multiple veggie trays from a Kwik Trip on Town Hall Road in Eau Claire between May 14th and May 29th.

Attorney Lindsay Lien Rinholen of Pritzker Hageman Law Firm is representing the Eau Claire woman.

Lien Rinholen says her client suffered several symptoms including nausea and stomach pain. "This is a lawsuit where the person who got sick did nothing wrong," she said.

Official with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department say it’s unusual to find this disease in Wisconsin but have already seen nearly a dozen cases reported from this particular outbreak.

"We have had 11 of the 60 cases that have been reported in Wisconsin since May 29th. Most of those cases have reported eating Del Monte veggie trays," said Allison Gosein, Public Health Nurse.

The health department says symptom take about a week to kick in and include watery diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, and prolonged fatigue. The lawsuit details these symptoms.

"When people get sick with Cyclospora, they usually have medical bills, they might have lost wages and then they've gone through a pretty horrific experience, missed out on things for a few weeks until they can be diagnosed," said Lien Rinholen.

This is one of first lawsuits filed in this outbreak but between Wisconsin and Minnesota, there could soon be more.

"This parasite is likely out there making other people sick right now and they don't know it," said Lien Rinholen.

She says the goal of the suit is financial accountability and to raise awareness." What we really want the public to know is if you've had a veggie tray and you are feeling sick, go in and get tested. It is a specific test so if your doctor hasn’t run a stool sample for this specific parasite...you should have that done if you're feeling sick," she said.

Health officials in both Wisconsin and Minnesota are investigating this outbreak and say its growing.

WEAU 13 News reached out to Kwik Trip about the pending lawsuit. A representative declined to comment at this time.

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