EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Lawyers representing two companies are seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an Eau Claire woman who said she consumed vegetables that made her severely ill.
In court records filed in Eau Claire County Court, Kwik Trip convenience stores and Del Monte Fresh Produce said they are not responsible for Averie K. Goodman becoming sick on May 30, when she experienced nausea and stomach pain, followed by debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms the following day.
La Crosse-based Kwik Trip filed its response to the lawsuit on Wednesday, and Del Monte, of Coral Gables, Fla., filed a response on Thursday.
Lawyers for the two companies said Goodman can’t prove she became ill because of Del Monte vegetable trays she bought at Kwik Trip, 4395 N. Town Hall Road, between May 14 and 29.
“(Goodman’s) complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” the response from Del Monte states.
In addition to dismissal, the companies are seeking compensation for attorney’s fees.
When Goodman’s illness persisted, she went to her doctor on June 8. A test the following day was positive for cyclospora, a microscopic parasite usually found in developing countries. Goodman began taking antibiotics, but the lawsuit states she continued to experience fatigue and other symptoms.
Goodman’s lawsuit, filed June 14, seeks payment of her medical bills, plus compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and attorney’s fees. The lawsuit accuses Del Monte and Kwik Trip of neglect for producing, distributing and selling food adulterated by cyclospora. The lawsuit states that fecal contamination of water used on food crops is often the culprit of cyclospora outbreaks.
Del Monte produced the ready-to-eat vegetable trays with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip that were sold in Kwik Trip stores.
Kwik Trip removed the veggie trays from its shelves on June 8 in cooperation with health advisories in Wisconsin and Minnesota. At the time, 11 people in Wisconsin and three in Minnesota tested positive for cyclospora that investigators linked to Del Monte trays sold at Kwik Trip locations.
Cyclospora is common in developing countries, but outbreaks can occur during summer in the U.S. because of food imported from other countries.