In April 2015, Blue Bell Creameries announced a full, nationwide recall of all its products. It didn’t take long for a lawsuit to be filed.
On Tuesday, the first lawsuit seeking to hold Blue Bell liable for illness caused by listeria-contaminated ice cream was filed in the United States District Court, Western District of Texas. Plaintiff David Philip Shockley seeks unspecified damages in a negligence lawsuit. Shockley says that while living in Houston, Texas, in October 2013, he was hospitalized for respiratory failure and septic shock. Doctors diagnosed him with listeria meningitis with encephalitis and Shockley suffered brain damage. Shockley alleges he regularly ate single serving Blue Bell ice cream, provided by his employer. In 2013, Mr. Shockley was 31 years old and was employed as a director and administrator at a nursing home/retirement community.
Blue Bell recently laid off or furloughed 37% of its workforce, as it grapples with the fallout from the recall and the challenges of getting its plants back into production. While this is the first lawsuit to come from the Blue Bell recall, it is unlikely to be the last. Judge Lee Yeakel is presiding over this suit.