The farm that grew cantaloupes that were linked to a 2011 listeria outbreak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, MSNBC New reported. Jensen Farms, located in Holly, Colorado filed documents with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver listing $2.5 million in liabilities against $2.1 million in assets and numerous wrongful death lawsuits it is currently facing from the outbreak.
According to a congressional committee, the listeria outbreak spread through 28 states and affected 146 people. The committee said it was the worst food-borne outbreak in more than 25 years.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors reported that Jensen Farms did not properly store the cantaloupes after harvesting, and failed to chlorinate the water it used to wash the cantaloupe, which allowed the bacteria to grow.
Distributors of the tainted cantaloupe are facing lawsuits as well, as are retail grocers including Wal-Mart and Kroger.
An attorney for several plaintiffs who have sued the farm said that Chapter 11 bankruptcy could free up insurance funds quicker, and is “step one” in a long process for compensation.