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Suit alleges Blue Bell ice cream caused illness

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(AP) – Blue Bell Creameries has been named in another lawsuit alleging a customer became ill when eating ice cream tainted with listeria.

Missouri City residents George and Sharon Pearson week filed the lawsuit last week in a Fort Bend County district court, seeking at least $200,000 in damages for health care expenses and "anguish."

The lawsuit alleges that George Pearson became ill after eating Blue Bell ice cream.

Blue Bell officials declined to comment on the lawsuit today.

According to the lawsuit, George Pearson "suddenly and without warning became severely ill" after eating the ice cream in April 2015

That same month, Blue Bell shut down production at its facilities in Oklahoma and expanded a recall of its products.

Eventually, the ice cream maker halted production at all of its plants, including here.

The lawsuit alleges that George Pearson’s llness was a "direct and proximate" result of Blue Bell’s negligence and that the company had failed to ensure the cleanliness of its facilities and the safety of its products prior to the recall.

Blue Bell initiated an extensive cleaning program and made agreements with health officials to test all of its products for listeria before putting them back in stores.

The Pearson’s lawsuit is the latest of several filed against Blue Bell in the wake of the recall.

Last spring, a federal judge in Louisiana dismissed a class-action lawsuit that sought refunds for customers throughout that state. The primary plaintiff, Steven Leon, argued Blue Bell hadn’t provided adequate notice to those eligible for reimbursement.

In September, a former Houston resident settled a federal lawsuit against the company for an undisclosed sum. The plaintiff, Phil Shockley, claimed he suffered brain damage after contracting listeriosis in 2013, but he couldn’t prove the illness stemmed from tainted Blue Bell ice cream.

Blue Bell has continued reentering the marketplace. It reintroduced its ice cream products back into Arizona and Colorado last month.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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