March 4th, 2024

Montreal man seeks to launch class action over cantaloupe salmonella outbreak

By The Canadian Press on December 28, 2023.

Cantaloupe halves are displayed for sale at a supermarket in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mary Conlon

MONTREAL – A Montreal man who spent almost a week in hospital with a salmonella infection after consuming cantaloupes is seeking permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against two food companies.

Law firm Slater Vecchio LLP filed the application Dec. 12 in Quebec Superior Court alleging that Olivier Archambault got sick after he consumed melons produced by Mexico-based Malichita and distributed in Canada by Arizona-based Trufresh.

In November the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued food recall warnings for melons produced by Malichita, and later in the month issued recalls for melons by Rudy brand, which are produced in the same area of Mexico.

As of last week the Public Health Agency of Canada has reported 164 laboratory-confirmed cases and seven deaths from cantaloupe-linked salmonella across eight provinces; 111 of those cases are in Quebec.

The lawsuit says the plaintiff received a cantaloupe in a subscription box in late October, and bought another at a grocery store in Montreal.

It claims he was admitted to the emergency room on Nov. 12 after experiencing severe illness, including intense abdominal cramping and vomiting, and was later confirmed to have salmonella.

The proposed class action, which has not been authorized or tested in court, is seeking unspecified damages on behalf of individuals in Quebec who purchased and consumed cantaloupes and other fruit in October and November that were the subject of Health Canada recalls.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2023.

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