Update: Big Olaf Sued Over Death of Woman in Ongoing Listeria Outbreak
A lawsuit has been filed against Big Olaf Creamery over the death of a woman whose estate alleges she contracted listeria from its ice cream. A lawsuit filed on July 5, 2022, in federal court on behalf of Illinois resident Mary Billman claims that Big Olaf caused her death because she ate contaminated ice cream.
Billman allegedly ate the company's ice cream at Big Olaf's Pinecraft location in Sarasota, Florida, on Jan. 18, 2022, on a visit to the area.
About a week later, she began experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms and had a fever of 103 degrees. Billman was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, where she underwent treatment for a septic illness.
Over the next two days, Billman's organs started to shut down, leaving her unconscious. She died on January 29, leaving behind her husband Richard, three daughters, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, according to the lawsuit.
Related Article: Listeria Outbreak Lawsuit Update
Florida Department of Health Alert on Ice Cream's Link to Listeria Outbreak
The Florida Department of Health  issued a safety alert regarding Big Olaf products on July 2, 2022. At the time of the alert, at least 23 people ranging in age from less than 1 year old to 92 had been infected in the outbreak. The first illness happened on January 24, 2021, and the most recent was reported on June 12, 2022, the Florida Department said.
Recent illnesses might not be reported yet because it takes three to four weeks to determine whether someone who is sick is part of the outbreak, the Florida Department added.
Woman Who Miscarried Files Lawsuit Against Big Olaf: FOX News Video
Where is Big Olaf Ice Cream Sold?
According to the Florida Department of Health, Big Olaf products, which are made at a local creamery near the Amish village of Pinecraft, are sold at the following retail locations:
- Lakewood Ranch, 8151 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
- Pinecraft, 3350 Bahia Vista, Sarasota
- St. Armands, 561 North Washington Drive, Sarasota
- Venice, 1276 Jacaranda Blvd., Venice
- Siesta Key, 5208 Oceans Blvd., Sarasota
- Bee Ridge Plaza, 3973 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota
- Beverly's Ice Cream, 301 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach
- Super Scoops, 11025 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island
- Sundial Beach Resort and Spa, 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel
- Tedi's Olde Tyme Ice Cream, 65 George Street, St. Augustine
- Good Ole Days, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda
- Fantastic Fudge, 218 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach
- Sprinkles Ice Cream Shop and Retro Candy, 6870 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
- Twistee Treat, 10 Pine Island Road, North Fort Myers
- The Ice Cream Shop, 1107 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Big Olaf Over Listeria-Tainted Ice Cream
The estate of 79-year-old Mary Billman filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Big Olaf Creamery on July 5, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa.
Billman died on January 29, 11 days after eating Big Olaf ice cream in Sarasota, Florida, while visiting her daughter, according to the Florida Department of Health. She died at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, after her organs shut down from a septic illness.
Mary Billman's husband, Richard, is seeking to "recover the value of lost support and services from the date of (her) injury to her death with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value," the complaint states. "(He) also seeks to recover the loss of (his wife's) companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury."
Billman's family is seeking damages in excess of $75,000.
Listeria infection is a foodborne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women, people older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems. It's most commonly caused by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurized milk products.
If you develop a listeria infection, you might have:
- Muscle aches
Symptoms might begin a few days after you've eaten contaminated food, but it can take 30 days or more before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.
If the listeria infection spreads to your nervous system, signs and symptoms can include:
- Stiff neck
- Confusion or changes in alertness
- Loss of balance
What To Do if You Have Big Olaf Ice Cream
If you purchased any Big Olaf Ice Cream, you should discard it immediately or return it to the point of purchase for a refund. Clean any areas, containers, and serving utensils that may have touched Big Olaf products.
See all related food poisoning lawsuits our lawyers have taken on.
Get a Free Big Olaf Ice Cream Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Ice Cream Contamination Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new listeria infection cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one had symptoms of food poisoning after eating recalled ice cream, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a lawsuit and our food poisoning lawyers can help.