Paul Schwarz Sr. died last night from complications related to the severe Listeria illness that he contracted from eating cantaloupe. Paul is the 31st person to die in the outbreak. He never left the hospital or nursing facility after falling ill.
Paul was profiled by Alan Bavley of the Kansas City Star on October 31, 2011:
Paul Schwarz used to eat a lot of cantaloupe, but not anymore.
At least some of the melons Schwarz enjoyed for breakfast this summer came from Jensen Farms, the Colorado grower whose cantaloupe contaminated with listeria bacteria have been responsible for the nation’s deadliest food-borne disease outbreak in 26 years.
The 92-year-old Kansas City man was knocked off his feet by a listeria infection called listeriosis and spent five weeks in the hospital. Now he’s recovering in a nursing home. And he’s become the first area resident with listeriosis to sue Jensen Farms. The suit has been filed in federal court.
“It’s just like he has brain trauma,” said his son, also Paul Schwarz. “His speech, enunciating is difficult. He’s bed- and wheelchair-bound. He needed to have his food cut into small pieces.”
On behalf of Paul’s family, Marler Clark will be amending the lawsuit to include claims for wrongful death.