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Jensen brothers meet with Listeria victims, families

An off-the-record meeting between the owners of Jensen Farms in Holly, CO, and the families of victims of a 2011 Listeria outbreak took place Nov. 19 at the federal courthouse in Denver.

The families and relatives of all victims affected by the outbreak were invited. Attorney William Marler said only a handful of the victims were in attendance at the meeting.

Representatives from the stores that sold the contaminated fruit and inspectors who reviewed operations at Jensen Farms facilities were not invited to the meeting.

Information exchanged during the meeting cannot be used in any legal proceedings currently pending in the judicial system.

Eric and Ryan Jensen formally pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Oct. 22 to six misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The charges stemmed from the 2011 distribution of cantaloupes produced at the farm found to be tainted with Listeria. During the outbreak, 33 people died and another 147 people were sickened in the United States.

The Jensen brothers will be sentenced on federal charges Jan. 28. Their attorney, Forrest W. Lewis, filed a complaint Oct. 15 with the District Court in Prowers County, CO, requesting a six-person jury trial in behalf of his client, Jensen Farms of Holly.

Primus Group Inc., a California corporation doing business as PrimusLabs, was named as the defendant in this lawsuit.